ANC Confirms Pressing Charges Against Malema

In a brief statement after a “constructive and fruitfuil” meeting, which went on well into the evening described by sources as heated, between top leaders of the ANC and the Youth League, ANC deputy secretary general Thandi Modise said that “issues of discipline in the ANC belongs to the structures of the ANC and are therefore not matters of the public or the media”.

She said these matters would be discussed “internally”.

This came after reports in morning papers here of an about-turn on President Jacob Zuma’s part, after he openly rebuked Malema earlier this month about his behaviour.

It has been reported that Zuma gave in to pressure and agreed to withdraw the disciplinary action, but highly-placed ANC sources on Tuesday morning told Independent Newspapers that once a complaint had been laid, it was up to the disciplinary committee to deal with and not even the president can “withdraw” it.

The disciplinary action would, however, also be discussed at the party’s national executive committee meeting in May.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, who has been accused by the Youth League of having political motives after the league expressed its preference for former league president and Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to replace him, was not present at the press briefing.

Malema is due to appear before a disciplinary committee chaired by Deputy Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom and his charges relate to bringing the party into disrepute.

Mantashe laid the complaint against Malema with the national disciplinary committee on behalf of the leadership of the ANC, a source told Independent Newspapers.

The charges were brought after Malema’s behaviour on a visit to Zimbabwe, his remarks on the death of AWB leader Eugene Terre’Blanche, and his insulting behaviour towards and kicking-out of a BBC reporter from an ANCYL press conference at Luthuli House in Joburg.

He also angered party bosses, including Zuma, when he reacted to Zuma’s public repudiation of him by saying that even former president Thabo Mbeki – who Zuma replaced as party leader in 2007 – had never subjected the youth league to a public rebuke.

It is unclear as yet when the hearing would take place. Independent Online