Suspended ANC Youth League president Julius Malema will have an opportunity to return to the ANC after serving a prescribed period of his expulsion, sources within the ruling party said on Monday.
“It seems like they are looking at conditional expulsion with the opportunity to re-apply for membership after a few years,” a high ranking official within the ANC told the Mail & Guardian on condition of anonymity.
The M&G understands this to mean Malema would be allowed to apply for ANC membership after serving an expulsion period of three to five years in which he does not take part in any sanctioned ANC activities, misbehave in any way or joins or forms any other political party.
“It’s kind of like parole. If he behaves then he’ll be allowed a shorter sentence. If he doesn’t, his full sentence will stand,” the source said.
The ruling party’s national disciplinary committee of appeals (NDCA) is currently deliberating over Malema’s appeal against his expulsion handed down at the end of February.
Malema was originally found guilty by the national disciplinary committee (NDC) of sowing divisions within the ruling party in November last year and was sentenced to a five-year suspension from the ANC.
His suspension was turned into an expulsion after Malema appealed the sentence and the NDCA granted the young firebrand and the ANC the opportunity to argue in mitigation of the original sentence.
Indications are that an announcement of the NDCA’s latest decision on the expulsion is expected later this week.
A well-placed source close to the internal disciplinary processes confirmed to the M&G that the ANC constitution allows for someone who has been expelled to be re-admitted to the party.
“Expelled members are fully within their rights to attempt to re-join the party by writing to the national executive committee. The decision on that application would of course be guided by the applicants actions during their expulsion,” the source said.
The source added that while the conditions surrounding Malema’s expulsion currently does not allow for re-admittance, the NDCA “has the power to amend rulings”.
While this could be construed as a minor victory for Malema, the ruling may work in his detractors’ favour as the youth leader will be politically neutered while his expulsion stands, and any hope of being offered entrance back into the ANC would crumble if he were to engage in active politics.
It is also unclear if Malema would even accept such a sanction as the youth league has on numerous occasions reiterated their stance that no disciplinary sanction against their leader will be accepted.
They have instead vowed to defy any suspension or expulsion Malema faces, and recognise him as leader of the organisation until its next elective conference in 2014.
Nonetheless, options seem to be running low for Malema as it was reported this weekend he faces an investigation by the South African Revenue Services (Sars) over unpaid taxes.
The City Press reported on Sunday that SARS is due to serve Malema with a tax bill of over R10-million relating to millions received by his Ratanang Family Trust.
In response to the reports, Malema alleges his enemies have “unleashed all state agencies against me because they want to silence me”.
In response to these allegations, Sars claimed that any investigation into an individual or company would be at the behest of “due legal process” and carried out “without prejudice”.
“Tax laws apply equally to all South African citizens and we would any allegations like this have a factual basis as we take our institutional integrity very seriously,” SARS spokesperson Adrian Lackay told the M&G.
Lackay added that interpretations of any case against Malema being politically motivated as being “at best circumstantial”.
“Stringent processes must be followed and Sars must convince a judge that it is necessary to carry out an investigation. That type of thing is not done on a whim,” he said.
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