Politics

Young lions regroup as disciplinary charges notch up

By Carien Du Plessis 25 August 2011

ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema’s homeys in Limpopo have called for the arms deal probe to be re-opened, a clear “we’re watching you” to Jacob Zuma while the president is, for a change, flexing his muscle (the political one). Oh, and more young leaders are slapped with charges, of which CARIEN DU PLESSIS has obtained the juicy details.

As four more of the ANC Youth League’s top officials were slapped with charges this week, the young ones convened in their provinces to discuss how they will show their support for their leader Julius Malema when he faces the ANC’s disciplinary committee on Tuesday.

From what we’ve heard, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Western Cape, all support their President, and we guess most of the other provinces too, while Limpopo did the value-add of asking for the arms deal probe to be reopened. That would be bad news for President Jacob “100% innocent” Zuma, as well as the whole of the ANC, which is said to have benefited financially as a party, with leaders trying their best for years now to make the whole thing go away.

Limpopo Youth League secretary Jacob Lebogo said: “amidst all the questions posed by institutions in other countries about the arms deal, we need to reopen it. We need a (sic) final clarity so that the issue can come to a final rest. There was a decision (by the ANC) to say the issue is closed, but what do you do when others outside the country continue to push it?”

Malema has Zuma by the balls on this one, but Zuma is also tightening his grip around Malema’s as the Hawks and the Public Protector have started probing the Youth League President’s finances.

The ANC’s national disciplinary committee on Wednesday confirmed in a statement that four Youth League officials have joined Malema and League spokesman Floyd Shivambu in being charged for transgressions against the ANC.

The four – deputy president Ronald Lamola, secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa, his deputy Kenetswe Mosenogi and treasurer Pule Mabe – will face steps, among others, for their storming of the office where ANC officials were meeting two and a half weeks ago.

The officials were supposed to have met with the League, but cancelled the meeting at the last minute because they wanted to mull disciplining the young ones first. The disbelieving youths then were reported to have stormed the office.

The date with their disciplinary destiny has been set for next Thursday, 31 August, following Malema’s hearing on Tuesday and Shivambu’s on Wednesday.

Full details of all the charges have not been officially released, but Daily Maverick has established that Malema will face at least five charges.

They are:

  • Bringing the ANC into disrepute with the League’s plans to collaborate with Botswana opposition parties to oust the ruling Botswana Democratic Party;
  • Sowing divisions in the ANC by saying the departure of former president Thabo Mbeki from continental bodies like SADC and the AU had left a vacuum (effectively hinting Zuma’s leadership on these bodies amounted to nought). He faces a suspended sentence on the sowing divisions charge from last year, and if found guilty again, he’ll be suspended;
  • Disrupting a meeting by the ANC’s top six officials (see above);
  • Sowing racism for saying, ten days before the local elections, in Kimberley (where he, incidentally, shared the stage with Zuma, who didn’t say anything to correct him at the time) that white people should be treated as “criminals” for “stealing” the land from black people.
  • Accusing the officials who charged and disciplined him last year of factionalism in a speech given at the close of the League’s conference in June. We’re not sure how the charge has been formulated, but we guess it could be “prejudicing the integrity or repute of the organisation, its personal or its operational capacity”.
    Shivambu is set to face the Botswana and sowing divisions charges, as well as:
  • Saying “fuck you” to a journalist from News24. We guess the actual charge would be bringing the ANC into disrepute. We wrongly reported on Wednesday that he will be charged too for referring to this reporter as a “white bitch” last year, but the ANC is said to be concentrating only on recent transgressions.
    Apart from the charge of storming the ANC officials’ meeting, secretary-general Magaqa has also been charged with:
  • Saying Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba is “pleasing imperialists” and all kinds of other nasty things about flower-power after Gigaba, a former Youth League leader, dared to say the mining nationalisation debate was harming investment. We guess that the charge would be sowing divisions within the organisation.

League insiders said Malema and his friends were still searching for an ANC member in good standing to represent them, but ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa, businessman Clifford Motsepe and lawyer Themba Langa, who represented Malema last time, are said to be unlikely to be by his side again.

Finding someone to argue Malema’s case might be a tad difficult, because anybody wanting to represent him would have to hedge their bets and would have to be ready to go down with him, insiders have said. It’s looking more and more certain, barring a political miracle, which, mind you, is not impossible, that Malema will be suspended.

Malema allies also said provinces would decide whether they wanted to bus supporters into Johannesburg CBD for the hearings next week (it’s clever, because if there is trouble, the ANC would have to take steps against the leaders in each province, and the national leadership would be absolved from any guilt).

Malema’s supporters angrily accuse ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe of conspiring with SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande to charge the Youth League leaders. “That is the way the SACP is run, by disciplinary charges,” a supporter said, referring to the party’s disciplining of some of its leaders in provinces in recent times.

Nzimande has recently lashed out against “right wing demagogic tendencies” in the ANC, in a clear reference to Malema, amongst others.

The party’s central committee is set to have one of its regular meetings this weekend, so we might hear more about demagogic tendencies on Sunday, when they hold their press conference.

SACP spokesman Malesela Maleka just laughed when he heard about the allegations. “That’s laughable, we don’t interfere in the matters of the ANC,” he said before laughing some more. DM




Read more:

  • Full house for ANC Youth League as four more officials charged in Daily Maverick;
  • ANC shoots from its branches as party structures called into line in Daily Maverick;
  • Julius, countryman, lend us your ears, in Daily Maverick;
  • Malema’s disciplinary: not everyone in the League standing by their man in Daily Maverick;
  • Malema and the disciplinary committee: A rough guide in Daily Maverick.
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