Malema hearing resumes as youth get fired up for march

By Carien Du Plessis 26 October 2011

ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema took a breather from his economic freedom march campaign schedule on Tuesday to prepare for the final stretch of his disciplinary hearing, where only the Mother of the Nation is yet to testify. CARIEN DU PLESSIS reports.

ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela will on Wednesday be the final witness to testify in favour of Julius Malema at his hearing in front of the ANC’s national disciplinary committee. Closing arguments will be next Thursday and a verdict should follow soon after.

ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Tony Yengeni’s sudden absence from Wednesday’s list of witnesses has come as a surprise, but those close to him and Malema speculate that it might be because it’s increasingly likely that the disciplinary judgement will eventually end up in front of the NEC for appeal anyway. So Malema’s supporters would want to hold back now so that they can fight back later, with no conflicts of interest.

Meanwhile the League’s had mixed success in its preparation for Thursday’s march to the Chamber of Mines in Johannesburg CBD and the JSE in Sandton, and Friday’s march to the Union Buildings. Besides claiming that bus companies were intimidated (the League doesn’t say by who, but implies state security agencies) not to ferry young protesters to the march, the League has also flatly refused to pay the R2 million deposit the Johannesburg and Tshwane metros want from them.

On Tuesday the Tshwane Metro Police told the League their night vigil at the Union Buildings on Thursday night has been cancelled, but the League is still hoping to convince the police otherwise. Vigils are popular because they tend to turn into parties, and this one was also supposed to solve the problem of accommodation for those wanting to attend the marches on both days.

Their plan to march to Pretoria – by foot – ironically seems to embody President Jacob Zuma’s theme song in the run-up to his election as ANC president, “Siyaya ePitoli, noma besidubula” (“we are going to Pretoria even though they shoot at us”). Zuma won’t be in the Union Buildings to welcome the youngsters, however, as he is going to Perth (http://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2011/10/24/zuma-packing-for-perth) to attend the Commonwealth heads of state meeting there. DM


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