Julius Malema has been suspended from the ANC Youth League and told he has to vacate his position as president of the organisation.
The ANC’s disciplinary committee found him guilty of provoking serious divisions in the ANC and bringing the organisation into disrepute, committee chairman Derek Hanekom told reporters in Johannesburg on Thursday.
The charges related to him deliberately disrupting a meeting of ANC officials along with four other youth league leaders in August this year, to comments made about former president Thabo Mbeki and bringing about regime change in Botswana. He was found not guilty of sowing racial or political intolerance.
Malema had 14 days to appeal the disciplinary committee’s sanctions, Hanekom said.
He has been suspended for 5 years and would continue to receive full pay until the appeal process was concluded.
Cosatu reacted to the news with a statement saying “Cosatu respects the ANC’s internal processes and will not comment on the specific cases, but Cosatu reaffirms its commitment to discipline within the ANC and its leagues and condemns any members who undermine that discipline.”
The IFP youth brigade said the ruling vindicated the IFPYB’s previous calls for action to be taken against Malema. “The ANC leadership have stood idly by as Mr Malema contributed to the loss of confidence in the South Africa economy with his irresponsible, reckless, and senseless calls for nationalisation. We regret that a compulsory course on civility, good manners and economics 101 was not included.”
African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe said the ruling sent a strong message to the youth league that ill-discipline in any form would not be tolerated. “We particularly welcome the ANC’s confirmation that discipline is ‘the foundation for any intended course of action’, that ‘ill-discipline is not a cure for frustration’, and that ‘ill-discipline in the guise of militancy and robust expression’ will not be permitted,” Meshoe said.
Hanekom said the ANCYL’s “arrogant” spokesman Floyd Shivambu also had to vacate his position in the youth league.
He was found guilty of two charges relating to swearing at a journalist and his press statement about regime change in Botswana. Shivambu’s ANCYL membership was suspended for three years.
The National Press Club in Pretoria has welcomed the ruling against ANC Youth League spokesman Floyd Shivambu. “This ruling should be an example for other spokespersons,” said chairman Yusuf Abramjee. “The media has a job to do and we will not sit back and watch our colleagues being abused.”
The youth league’s secretary general Sindiso Magaqa was found guilty of making a derogatory statement about Public Enterprise Minister Malusi Gigaba.
The NDC found he undermined the ANC and Gigaba’s position as minister and placed foreign investment into South Africa at risk.
ANCYL deputy president Ronald Lamola, treasurer general Pule Mabe, Magaqa and deputy secretary general Kenetswe Mosenogi all had their youth league membership suspended for two years.
This sanction was suspended for three years, Hanekom said.
The Azanian People’s Organisation youth (Azapoy) welcomed the suspension of both Malema and ANCYL spokesman Floyd Shivambu from the ANCYL.
“We view this as the best thing to have happened to South African politics of young people because the pair have been the worst thing to have ever graced the world of youth activism,” leader Amukelani Ngobeni said.
Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder said South Africa was “a better place” for Malema’s removal from the political arena. “Malema and Shivambu have without a doubt caused a lot of damage to South Africa internationally as well as nationally,” said Mulder.
AfriForum welcomed the verdict and expressed the hope that the ANC would stand firm should Malema appeal his suspension.
According to Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, Malema’s absence as a prominent figure in South African politics will give the country’s residents an ideal opportunity to work on normalising community relations. “Malema has been the biggest polarising factor in the country for the past two years and without him on the scene, it will be much easier to promote mutual recognition and respect between communities,” Kriel said.
South African stocks extended gains after the news of the suspension of Malema who has unnerved investors with his drive to nationalise mines. The rand also firmed slightly after the announcenment.
Judith February, head of Idasa’s political monitoring unit, said most people had expected some “lightly, lightly” approach from the ANC’s disciplinary committee. “This sends a strong message around issues of discipline, obviously in the larger democratic context of South Africa.”
Julius Malema has vowed to appeal against his suspension as an ANC member, eNEWS has reported. Floyd Shivambu, was not immediately available for comment.
SA – the Good News via SAPA