The ANC's national disciplinary committee has received a letter from ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema's lawyers regarding his latest suspension, chairman Derek Hanekom said on Thursday.
“We received the letter and we replied before the 2pm deadline,” he said.
However, Hanekom said he could not say what was written in the reply.
According to earlier reports Malema's lawyers were threatening to take the party to court if it did not withdraw the suspension by 2pm on Thursday.
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu on Thursday said the party frowned on its members taking it to court.
“We are against anyone who takes the ANC to court because we do have a constitution in the ANC and we abide by the constitution,” he said.
On Wednesday, the NDC announced it had temporarily suspended Malema from the party to investigate charges relating to comments he made at a centenary lecture at the University of the Witwatersrand on Friday. Malema called ANC President Jacob Zuma a dictator and said he was suppressing the ANCYL.
The ANCYL leader was informed on Wednesday morning of his immediate temporary suspension and that disciplinary proceedings would be instituted against him by the NDC.
The conditions of the suspension meant that Malema would not be allowed to exercise any duty as an ANC member, president of the ANCYL or member of the Limpopo provincial executive committee.
Hanekom said if Malema wanted his suspension lifted, he would have to approach the ANC's national disciplinary committee of appeal (NDCA).
“We've made it clear that the member 1/8Malema 3/8 has a right to reply to the NDCA,” he said.
“They can lift the suspension.”
However, it would not be an appeal, but an application to the NDCA.
“This was a special measure in exceptional circumstances. There are no findings and there is no appeal,” said Hanekom.
“He has not been charged; it's an immediate temporary suspension.”
The NDC had instituted special measures because of Malema's repeated behaviour.
According to section 25.12 (g) of the African National Congress's constitution: “When a provincial working committee (PWC) or provincial disciplinary committee (PDC) imposes a temporary suspension on a member or a public representative, it must immediately forward a report of such suspension and the reasons for it to the NDCA and the NDCA may, if circumstances warrant it, at any stage set aside such suspension.”
Malema is appealing his expulsion from the ANC for sowing division in the party and for bringing it into disrepute. The appeals hearing takes place on April 12.
The two disciplinary proceedings are separate. - Sapa