Midnight appeals deadline looms for Malema

Lawyers for three ANC Youth League leaders have until midnight on Wednesday to file written heads of argument to the ANC appeals committee, party spokesperson Keith Khoza said.

Khoza said by late morning he did not know if the papers had been filed.

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, spokesperson Floyd Shivambu and secretary general Sindiso Magaqa were scheduled to submit their appeal presentations to the national disciplinary committee of appeal (NDCA) last week, but asked for the hearing to be postponed because their lawyer was not available. They also asked for a new lawyer.

NDCA chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa said at the time the committee agreed to postpone the hearing so the new lawyer, advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, could familiarise himself with the matter.

“The NDCA agreed to postpone the hearing with a proviso that the new legal representative will submit the appellants’ heads of argument by April 18 in writing,” Ramaphosa said.

The ANC was expected to submit its written heads of argument on Friday.

Written submissions
Ramaphosa said both parties had agreed the appeal would proceed through written submissions rather than an oral hearing.

“Upon receiving the written submissions the NDCA will sit and consider these and take a decision. Once a decision is taken a public announcement will be made in line with the directives of the ANC constitution,” he said.

Malema was expelled from the ANC in November 2011 for sowing division in the party and for bringing it into disrepute. He was found to have done so by unfavourably comparing the leadership style of President Jacob Zuma to that of former president Thabo Mbeki, and for remarks about bringing about regime change in Botswana.

Despite the expulsion Malema remained youth league president until all options to overturn his sentence had been exhausted.

However, he was gagged last week when the ANC’s national disciplinary committee suspended him from the ANC after calling Zuma a dictator. The conditions of the suspension prohibit him from exercising any duty as an ANC member, president of the league or member of the Limpopo provincial executive committee.

On Tuesday, the NDCA dismissed Malema’s bid to have his temporary suspension from the ANC in this matter set aside.

The two disciplinary proceedings were separate.

Shivambu was also found guilty of sowing division and bringing the ANC into disrepute. He was suspended from the ANC for three years for swearing at a journalist and for issuing a statement calling for a change of government in Botswana.

Magaqa was suspended for three years for making derogatory remarks about Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.

This was suspended for three years on condition that he apologise to Gigaba within 15 days.

Magaqa apologised to Gigaba, in a statement sent to the media on March 10. — Sapa

For more news and multimedia on ANC Youth League president Julius Malema click here.

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