When a flu presents itself a day or two before an important conference, you dose yourself with the strongest medicine. But when you fall ill before a difficult trial, you take it like a man and go to hospital – as ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has done. CARIEN DU PLESSIS doesn’t think the ANC will be sending him flowers soon.
Normally the ANC Youth League wouldn’t be this forthcoming about its leader being hospitalised, but seeing that it’s happening at a crucial point of Julius Malema’s relatively young political career, spokesman Floyd Shivambu gave it his all.
The League’s president walked into the Medi-Clinic private hospital (owned by his favourite white capitalists, the Rupert family) in Polokwane with “flu-like” symptoms, and was then admitted.
Malema was in Polokwane to deliver a lecture on Tuesday. He told supporters he loved whites, but also complained about not feeling well.
Bladdie agents with media tendencies have “humbly” been requested to please not “pry into the privacy of the President’s (er, Malema’s) health, because doing so is unethical, immoral and despicable”.
But chairman of the ANC’s disciplinary committee, Derek Hanekom, is likely to want to know as it would affect the continuation of Malema’s hearing. Malema’s been trying to drag his hearing out as much as possible (perhaps to try muster up as much support from provinces as he can, or maybe he wants judgement day to coincide with the League’s planned mass action).
Malema’s lawyer, Dali Mpofu, has already indicated that they would submit the medical certificate to Hanekom when the hearing resumes on Thursday.
Hanekom told Sapa while the committee didn’t want unnecessary delays, “we want a fair process throughout”.
The committee would meet with Malema’s lawyers to get an update on his health. “You know he might be serious. Normally one is not admitted into hospital with a mere cold.”
Housing Minister Tokyo Sexwale might be disappointed about a postponement because he was all geared up to testify in the youth leader’s defence (to the effect that the charges against Malema is causing tensions in the ANC, and hinting that these are political).
Shivambu as well as the rest of the League’s top five leaders have also been charged. DM
"Take a chance, won't you? Knock down the fences which divide. Tear apart the walls that imprison you. Reach out. Freedom lies just on the other side." ~ Thurgood Marshall