Luthuli House changes its mind about Luthuli House

By Carien Du Plessis 31 August 2011

Wounded after a long day in front of the ANC’s disciplinary committee, the young lion Julius Malema scored a small victory by persuading the elders to reverse their decision to move the disciplinary hearing from Luthuli House. His hearing is set to continue at the ANC’s headquarters today. CARIEN DU PLESSIS reports.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe’s dramatic announcement last night at a press conference called on less than 30 minutes’ notice that Malema’s disciplinary hearing is to be moved to an “undisclosed venue” outside of Johannesburg, came as a surprise to ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.

Malema’s team put up a fight, and won after arguing for just over an hour that the decision – apparently taken by the ANC’s leadership and not the disciplinary committee – was unfair. Malema’s team reminded the members that the apartheid government used to move hearings to places like Delmas to avoid the city centre being used for political rallies.

That must have left the ANC’s bigwigs a little red-faced.

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu confirmed the decision, which was made by the ANC’s leadership, but said if there is a repeat of Tuesday’s violent events outside Luthuli House, the hearing would definitely move. “We made the determination(sic) to move. The ANC still has a venue for (the national disciplinary committee) if they want to move,” he said. “We are not concerned that Luthuli House itself was being threatened, but there are businesses in the CBD which (have) suffered.”

Malema’s hearing continued until after 19:00 on Tuesday night and was postponed until Wednesday. His representatives, Patric Mtshaulana and Dali Mpofu  on Tuesday lost their bid to get members of the disciplinary committee, including its head, deputy minister of science and technology Derek Hanekom, mining minister Susan Shabangu and minister in the presidency Collins Chabane to recuse themselves. They argued that these leaders had expressed strong views about Malema in the past, and this could prejudice the hearing.

Metro police spokesman Wayne Minnaar on Wednesday morning said they had not been informed of the latest development, but were working on it. DM


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