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ANC Youth League president Julius Malema should be summarily expelled from the ANC, the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans' Association (MKMVA) said on Tuesday.
“Julius Malema thinks he is bigger than the ANC,” MKMVA national chairman Kebby Maphatsoe told reporters in Joburg.
“He has fed on the media frenzy against the liberation movement, casting doubt and aspersions on the ability of the ANC to formulate policies and govern South Africa in favour of all its citizens.”
He said however, that the MKMVA respected the party's internal process and was not trying to prejudice the disciplinary process Malema was facing.
Malema is appealing his expulsion by the ANC national disciplinary committee.
On Friday, Malema criticised Zuma's leadership during an ANC centenary lecture in Joburg.
He said Zuma had replaced democracy with dictatorship and that the ANCYL was being traumatised and suppressed under Zuma's leadership.
Maphatsoe said Malema was trying to “render the ANC unworkable” and was sowing division.
“He is on record to have uttered words that besmirched the Deputy President of the ANC comrade Kgalema Motlanthe by saying he was 'acting as though he is the president in the presence of the president'.
“He is on record to have shown scant disregard for the secretary general of the ANC comrade Gwede Mantashe and openly campaigned for his removal from his position long before elective conference processes started,” said Maphatsoe.
He said it was wrong for senior ANC members to keep quiet when the party's leadership was being verbally attacked.
Malema made his comments on Friday in the presence of ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa.
“We call on all members of the ANC who, because of privileged positions of leadership held in either government or the movement itself, to search their consciences and find courage and truth, and to desist the cheap allure of fame and fortune which betrays the confidence placed in them,” Maphatsoe said.
He said the attack on Zuma was an attack on the ANC, because Zuma was the face of the party.
“Once you attack the leader of the ANC you attack the ANC,” he said.
Maphatsoe said the MKMVA had kept quiet on the issue of Malema until now because it thought Malema would come to his senses and start respecting the ANC and its leadership.
“We can't keep quiet when he [Malema] keeps uttering statements against the ANC and the ANC leadership,” he said.
“We need a militant youth league, but also a disciplined youth league.”
The MKMVA had written to the ANC's national executive committee regarding Malema's expulsion, said Maphatsoe.
The MKMVA was also calling on all ANC members to unite and defend the ANC and its leaders against attacks from within and outside the ANC.
The ANC's top officials were expected to address the media later on Tuesday.
ANCYL secretary general Sindiso Magaqa addressed the media immediately after the MKMVA held its press briefing at the ANC's Luthuli House headquarters.
Magaqa said the MKMVA was just seeking attention by commenting on Malema.
“They just want to show their girlfriends that today they will be on TV,” he said.
“We find it very strange that the MKMVA released the statement. We believe this is not the statement of the collective, but of an individual,” he said.
Magaqa said the MKMVA's statement had no content.
“We are dealing with people who do not have an understanding of ANC processes.”
Magaqa said some MKMVA members were not veterans, but “sell-outs”.
“They have a bad history... I won't go any further with that,” he said when asked what he meant by sell-outs.
“Not everyone was a soldier of MK, some were cooks.”
Magaqa said the disciplinary process was still ongoing and that Malema was still the ANC Youth League's leader.
“We are more determined than ever that we have an elected president until 2014,” he said.
“Nothing has changed.” – Sapa