If Julius Malema is not stopped, he will continue insulting ANC leaders and President Jacob Zuma.
Cyril Ramaphosa – the chairman of the ANC national disciplinary committee of appeals (NDCA) – stated this on Tuesday when he dismissed Malema’s bid to set aside his suspension as ANC Youth League president and as an ANC member.
Tuesday’s ruling confirms the ban on Malema as an ANC member, president of the league and as a member of the Limpopo provincial executive committee.
On Wednesday, Malema is expected to file his heads of argument in his expulsion case, which stems from earlier charges of sowing divisions in the ANC and bringing the party into disrepute.
Ramaphosa holds the fate of Malema in his hands as he will rule on whether the youth league leader’s expulsion from the party in February should stand.
He is expected to make a ruling on this within days.
Malema was suspended on April 4 following an address at Wits University on March 30 during which he likened Zuma to a dictator.
Tuesday’s ruling came in the wake of widening cracks within the league. Some of the league’s national executive committee members want Malema to accept Ramaphosa’s decision if he is expelled, while others say Malema should lead them until 2014.
On Sunday, the youth league’s national executive committee (NEC) met in Sandton to discuss Malema’s suspension and took a decision to defy the order.
However, this support for Malema seems to have caused a split in the youth league, with one NEC member publicly saying the league should respect the order and not oppose the ANC.
Mduduzi Manana said the statement issued on Sunday after the meeting had been a misrepresentation of the facts. But youth league deputy president Ronald Lamola hit back on Tuesday, saying Manana’s remarks were a “distortion of the outcomes of the NEC and does not represent the official position of the ANCYL”.
On Tuesday, other youth league leaders were mum.
However, endorsing Malema’s suspension, Ramaphosa said the national disciplinary committee (NDC) decision to suspended Malema was necessitated by exceptional circumstances because Malema had made the remarks after being found guilty on two counts of misconduct and his subsequent dismissal from the ANC.
Ramaphosa ruled that:
* Malema’s utterance at a public meeting at Wits constituted a very serious violation of the ANC’s constitution;
* The serious nature of the violation raised a real sense of urgency and necessitated a meeting of the NDC on April 2. Steps had to be taken by the NDC to avoid any further damage to the good name and reputation of the organisation; and
* The NDC had a duty to act, and the immediate temporary suspension of Malema was in the best interest of the ANC.
Ramaphosa found that the NDC’s view, that in “all likelihood Malema would continue to make public utterances which would bring the ANC into disrepute”, was correct.
“The NDCA is of the view that it was reasonable for the NDC to have regard to Malema’s recurring pattern of similar conduct since November 10, 2011. The immediate suspension would put a stop to the recurring pattern of Malema’s behaviour and obviate any further damage to the good name and reputation of the ANC.
“When Malema joined the ANC, he subjected himself to the ANC constitution and its code of conduct. in doing so, he voluntarily agreed to limit his freedom of expression apropos his relationship with the ANC,” Ramaphosa said.
The NDCA also rejected the legal arguments advanced by his lawyers that Derek Hanekom was wrong in imposing his suspension, saying it was equivalent to being a “referee and player” and raised doubts about a fair trial for Malema.
They also argued that Malema was not given an opportunity to represent himself before a decision to suspend him was taken.
Ramaphosa said that, according to the ANC constitution, “the NDC has the right to investigate, conclude that disciplinary proceedings are warranted, institute and refer disciplinary proceedings for adjudication. In view of the NDCA, there is no conflict between these various competencies.”
The NDC is expected to serve new charges on Malema on May 4 for calling Zuma a dictator. But if Ramaphosa upholds his expulsion, the NDC would not go ahead with the second disciplinary hearing. - Political Bureau