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No ANC member is bigger than the organisation's constitution, the party said on Wednesday in welcoming Julius Malema's latest suspension.
“We welcome and respect the decision as we do with all decisions arrived at by constitutional structures of the ANC,” spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.
On Wednesday the African National Congress's national disciplinary committee (NDC) announced it had temporarily suspended ANC Youth League president Julius Malema from the party, to investigate charges relating to comments he made on Friday.
“The decision of the NDC derives from the constitution of the ANC, section 25.12 (c), which empowers the NDC and the national working committee under extraordinary circumstances, to temporarily suspend any member of the ANC with a view to investigate possible charges,” Mthembu said.
Malema's ANC membership was suspended with immediate effect.
On Friday Malema called Zuma a dictator and accused him of suppressing the ANCYL.
“After due consideration, the NDC was satisfied that this utterance constitutes a very serious violation of the ANC constitution and that the institution of disciplinary action... as outlined in the ANC constitution is warranted,” NDC chairman Derek Hanekom said in a statement.
“ (The NDC) concluded that such utterance could bring the ANC into disrepute.”
Malema was informed on Wednesday morning of his immediate temporary suspension and that disciplinary proceedings would be instituted against him.
Consequently Malema would not be allowed to exercise his duties as an ANC member, as president of the ANCYL, or member of the Limpopo ANC's provincial executive committee, said Hanekom.
“He will not attend any meeting of the ANC or any of its structures, including the leagues, except for the purpose of the NDCA (national disciplinary committee of appeal) hearing and the pending disciplinary proceedings to be instituted against him.”
Malema would also not be allowed to address any ANC or ANCYL meeting.
“He will not make any public statement on any matter pertaining to the ANC,” said Hanekom.
Malema is appealing his expulsion from the ANC for sowing division in the party and for bringing it into disrepute. The appeal hearing is scheduled to take place on April 12.
SABC news reported on Wednesday evening that Malema had given the ANC an ultimatum to allow him to speak in public again. - Sapa