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“The gloves are off,” a defiant Julius Malema declared after the announcement of his suspension from the ANC on Thursday, before calling for the removal from power next year of President Jacob Zuma’s ANC leadership.
Wearing a black T-shirt bearing the image of slain freedom fighter Chris Hani, Malema made the call while addressing supporters in Polokwane.
The deposed youth league president had just walked out of an exam room at Unisa’s Polokwane campus. To avoid a throng of journalists, Malema was made to write alone in a separate administration block.
Although he already knew that the ANC had suspended his membership for five years, Malema said he had no details of the ruling.
But he said “we are not shaken” by the suspension.
“What I like about these people who suspended us is that they are brave, they are not scared and they fight for what they believe in.
“And we must also fight for what we believe in. We must never apologise, the gloves are off, let us confront them because their intention is very clear, they want to destroy the ANC Youth League,” Malema declared.
The ANC needed a new leadership, he said. “We are determined, we will be liberated by Mangaung next year. The real leaders of the ANC must now stand up and defend the ANC,” said Malema.
“We must be united, the enemy will smile for this few minutes’ victory, ours is a victory that will last forever,” said Malema to a cheering crowd of over 300 people.
Malema maintained that the autonomy of the youth league should be defended.
“That right of the youth league to raise radical and militant issues must be defended, this is the legacy of Nelson Mandela… we must protect it,” said Malema.
He emphasised that the suspension was not a worry for him and he was not having sleepless nights.
“I have made my contribution in this country, my name will be written in the history books whether you like it or not,” said Malema.
Traffic was brought to a halt when Malema supporters blockaded the city’s Landros Mare Street in support of their troubled leader.
Malema vowed to appeal his suspension through ANC internal structures. He said the league’s national executive committee would meet tomorrow to deliberate on the ANC’s decision.
In the meantime, Malema urged his supporters to continue fighting as he battles to remain active in the party. Malema said the ANC remained his home.
“And when you throw us from the ANC, you are throwing us out of our home and that cannot be left unchallenged,” he said.
He would hold on to his ANC membership card and his standing as the leader of the young lions until the internal appeal process had been finalised.
However, Malema could very well be out in the political wilderness before the end of the year as the ANC is expected to push to have the matter finalised before it embarks on its centenary celebrations in January. One senior ANC member said on Thursday: “Cometh the man, cometh the hour; no one is bigger than the ANC.”
This summed up the sentiment of like-minded leaders in the ANC, that Malema and his fellow youth leaders were a law unto themselves and had become a thorn in the flesh of the party by publicly questioning its economic and international relations policies.
But analysts said the fight for Malema’s political life was far from over. Zuma’s detractors might well use Malema’s misfortunes as a stick to beat Zuma and his leadership with.
The chairman of the ANC’s national disciplinary committee, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Derek Hanekom, on Thursday dismissed suggestions that the case had been politically motivated.
The ANC was merely responding to a call by delegates at its national general council in September last year that the importance of discipline be reinstated and that ANC members and leaders should be reminded of the oath they took when joining the movement, Hanekom said.
The league’s campaign to replace ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe with former league leader, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, had taken a knock with the sanctions against Malema and company, said political analyst Adam Habib.
The outcome of the hearings, particularly the findings against Malema, was likely to deepen divisions within the ANC, he said.The decision would also have an impact on Zuma’s standing in the party, with leaguers already warning neither he nor Mantashe should view themselves as victorious.
However, all indications suggested that Zuma would hold on to the top job after December next year. The real battle, said Habib, would be for the other top five positions – all open for contestation.
It will now be up to the ANC’s national disciplinary committee of appeals, chaired by ANC NEC member Cyril Ramaphosa and including Minister in the Presidency for Planning Trevor Manuel, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, national executive committee member Jessie Duarte and former public enterprises minister Brigitte Mabandla, to pronounce on his political future.
If the appeals committee upholds the disciplinary committee’s ruling Malema’s suspension takes immediate effect and he will be out of the political action leading up to Mangaung.
The appeals committee will want to put the matter to bed before year-end. Next year is an important year for the ANC – which celebrates it centenary and leaders will not want Malema’s struggles to take centre stage.
If the appeals committee upholds the sanctions against Malema and company the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) can at its own discretion institute a review of the decision.
Malema and his lieutenants cannot approach the NEC to review their cases. It will depend on another NEC member to petition the powerful 90-strong committee to review the decision by the NDC and the appeals committee. This would be the truest test of Malema’s support in the ANC and Zuma’s standing.
- Political Bureau
To anonymous who wrote "Dont you need to pass school to get into UNISA, I had to...?" Please contact Unisa, but I recall it being told my daughter that Matriculants or people over the age of 25 can enter University. Just check with them and check me on the accuracy of the age quoted.
Leigh Thomas, wrote
I wish Mr Malema would stop comparing himself to Chris Hani. I do believe Chris Hani would have been front and centre in the axing of this man. Lets look at his credentials. Money from where - not his salary as a ANCYL leader definitely. Hangs out in expensive nightclubs spending more in one night on expensive whiskies than most South Africans will earn in a year. Personal relationships with questionable business people who have made money how?. His aspirations have nothing to do with the plight of our youth. Unfortunately he has been able to use this plight to mobile these poor people to gain and keep power. Mr Malema Chris Hani would be ashamed to be associated with you. He was a militant but his tactics were not hitleresque. He truly believed what he was fighting for and did not use the political and social misgivings of our country to feed his ego, pocket or power base.
There we go! He has now confirmed that all he wants is to be in the history books and he expects the so-called youth (most are married with kids) to assist him. No noble outcome, just his name on the books...
@ OBSERVER 8.11 & MAMS. You have a totally lobsided view of the DA. They do not have to attack the ANC or miss Malena. They want to get on with the job of making S.A. better for all, especially with service delivery!!
Malema simply HAS to do what he is doing. I am not fooled. All this bravado he is now displaying is yet ANOTHER deviation away from the reality of his shady deals. Zuma knows this too. The Hawks and SARS will now also feel they can comfortably investigate Malema without 'outside pressure.' The extent of his fraudulent dealings are only partly known. No - one in the ANC has become a hero or matyr for stealing from the very mouths they perpurt to feed. If I were Malema, I would be very nervous. I think the slope will become increasingly slippery for him here on in. Patience is a virtue. Has the ANC got unlimited patience? I doubt it. Zuma's next move now will be to urgently put in place mechanisms for speedier land reform measures, the mining sector and generally creating a climate for entrepreneurs to create employment, hereby effectively cutting this Economic - Job - Destroying - Terrorist out. S.A. will always be bigger then this over inflated, ego driven, youngster. And he is correct - he will make the History books, albeit in a the same way as Verwoerd, PW, and Co.
Jitesh Naidoo, wrote
At last Mr. Zuma showed that he can make tough decisions. Although plagued by many problems, one of the biggest being corruption within the ANC ranks, Zuma has shown that he is not afraid to axe those who do not act in the interests of the country. And for that Mr. Zuma should be commended. A president of a country should be unafraid to make such unpopular decisions and should not bow to threats from idiots like Malema. For this Mr. Zuma gets full marks.
@Anon - he was writing his woodwork exam!!! Lol
Im no Malema's supporter and never will but this is not merely about JM, this is about Mangaung come next, the influence that he had in putting Leaders in power.In Polokwane he won in removing TM and ANC is afraid he does the same to JZ, how many ill discipline members of the ANC, there are many that are far than JM.
Failed woodwork! Unisa? Fact: ANC infighting - I just love it...................... Down with this corrupt government.
Maston Phiri, wrote
Revolutionary greetings members of the mass movement. IT seems that Juju has been “neutralized” in the build up to the conference but one thing is certain, this is not the end of Juju as he has come out to be a very influential figure in the organisation. The next step now is for him to appeal as he has indicated. Interesting to note though is that come the conference things will be heated indeed within the movement and the danger now is that the elected leadership there (if its pro Juju) will then be the NEC of the organisation, which would then have the power (at its own descretion) to instruct a review of the judgment - possibly, overturning the very judgment and reinstate Juju!There lies the critical line of the matter and not many people see it. Hence one should caution those others for celebrating before the end is determined in Mangaung. Cdrs, Juju is a very influential member of the organization and over the years he has gunned support (see the marsh recently: though Lazola’s (SASCO SG) of this world would like to believe otherwise that those who came out did not necessary support Juju but the course of the march. Reality is that they did and if you watch or formed part of the march you would have seen that!!!). In brief, it is still a long way to go to get rid of the Juju fiction within the organisation (if ever that is possible in the very place considering that he is after all the product of the organisation and has learnt from the best!!! But it is interesting to observe that now he is exposed and the Hawks may now be deployed to deal completely with him and sideline him in the organisation (the strategy, apparantly as once argued, once used against JZ by cdr Mbeki).But then if JZ could survive that through the strategist like Mbalula and Juju behind him, there is no reason for him (Juju) to fail this time to strategies on how to deal with that as well!!!. S4S
@Anon - you can study at Unisa without a matric pass when you are older but it's hard work thereafter to obtain the Unisa qualification. It's tougher for students at Unisa than at any university, in my opinion!
the question here is ... how did this idiot even get into being part of the ANC in the first place ... come on the ANC pls think about who is part of your party and appoint real respectable leaders.
UDM did it nd failed COPE did it -where are they now ? -do yours stupid Malema- ur so pathetic - ill disciplined,rude ...
Yho JUJU you've been nationalized. Wahleka Mbeki- HA-HA-HA-HA.Are you not gonna kill for Zuma?. Tshotsho uyaphapha.
To any thinking person, black or white, yesterday was the best day since the release of Nelson Mandela! Now, hopefully we can go forward and acheive the full potential of this country including eventual economic freedom for all through practical means not through hairbrained policies which would simply make SA yet another failed ex-colonial state. I suggest that Malema be deported to Zim for the duration of his suspension to find out first hand the implications of his friend Mad Dog Mugabe's similar policies - perhaps that might bring him, to his senses - far more than by studying Political Science at UNISA! (just how did he qualify to do that???). Good bye Julius and good riddance.
Now I can read news papers and watch the news on TV for the next five years, Im' guessing.
Is he now the HR office of the ANC, For him to hire and fire.This is a really I diot people.
hahahahahhahaha malema hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
@Molifi - "NOTHING WRONG ABOUT THIS POOR GUY SPADE IS A SPADE" - hawhaw! From www.urbandictionary.com "A derogatory term for an African American, more commonly used in the post-Civil War era than today. Eg: No you can't sit with me, you damn spade. "
Well, Well! I'm glad to see that general public opinion still have the best interest of the people at heart! On both side of the racial scale, people are saying the same thing: 'Julie, why don't you slip into something more comfortable...like a coma!' That being said, I know too little of current political affairs to say too much, however I am an avid student of history. Our intrepid leader will be under close scrutiny in the year to come! For one, this could be a classic political sideshow! I have not made up my mind about our president as of yet, especially with his colourful pre-president background. With the amount of adverse publicity he seems to be drawing from his own party, I'm inclined to think that perhaps he is trying to do right by the people. But my spider-senses keeps me wary. This could very well be a sign of bad things to come! At least as the president of the ANCYL, we knew what he was up to! With Julie off the chain, Heaven only knows what he might be planning. I can hear that 'I'm a martyr' -tone in his voice already! How will he support his lavish lifestyle now? Eating Sushi off the thighs of a virgin, can't be cheap, afterall! Pay heed my fellow citizens!