The ANC has slapped charges on four more ANC Youth League leaders, which means all five top leaders of the young lions’ pride are now in the dock. CARIEN DU PLESSIS reports.
The news broke ahead of the statement, again. The ANC Youth League’s deputy president Ronald Lamola, secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa, his deputy Kenetswe Mosenogi, and treasurer-general Pule Mabe were charged on Tuesday afternoon for bringing the ruling party into disrepute by announcing plans that the League would work to effect a regime change in Botswana.
Head of the ANC’s disciplinary committee, Derek Hanekom, was on a plane this morning, but his phone was diverted to an assistant (as it has been since Friday, when the first charges were laid), who confirmed the news was true.
The four will now face the ANC’s disciplinarians alongside their leader Julius Malema and spokesman Floyd Shivambu, who will also face charges for his foul mouth after referring to this journalist as a “white bitch”.
The two will together face charges of sowing divisions in the ANC. Malema got a suspended sentence on this charge last year after he unfavourably compared President Jacob Zuma’s leadership with his predecessor Thabo Mbeki, and he could be suspended if found guilty of this again.
Another charge on Malema’s sheet relates to storming into an office where the ANC’s top six officials were due to meet the League’s national executive committee (NEC) two-and-a-half weeks ago. This meeting was cancelled because the ANC had decided to go ahead with disciplinary charges and wanted to separate those issues from the run-of-the-mill matters.
The ANC and the Youth League are due to meet some time before Malema faces the disciplinary committee on Tuesday. Shivambu’s turn is set to come on Wednesday, and it’s not clear if the other four will join him or have their own date.
Some in the League have been wanting to bus supporters into central Johannesburg to march on Luthuli House when the hearing starts, while others favour a more disciplined approach. During its recent four-day meeting, the ANC’s NEC shot down all attempts by Malema’s supporters to convince the committee to overturn charges against the young firebrand.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe told journalists on Tuesday that it was not the right forum to discuss the charges. The NEC is one of the appeal bodies that Malema and his fellow leaders could turn to, and the ANC fears any discussion in the NEC might prejudice an appeal.
Of course it’s also a clever way of keeping the process really tight, with the ANC’s top six officials apparently united behind the charges, which were moved by them. DM
Photo: Daily Maverick
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