Julius Malema tried unsuccessfully to prove that his disciplinary hearing was unjustly railroaded to prevent him from “disrupting” and “undermining” President Jacob Zuma at the recent ANC celebrations.
However, this argument was dismissed by the disciplinary appeals committee this week.
Malema’s defence team presented the appeals committee, chaired by ANC heavyweight Cyril Ramaphosa, with an e-mail from the party’s prosecution leader, or chief national presenter, Uriel Abrahamse, to his deputy, Nomazotsho Memani.
In the e-mail, Abrahamse wants Malema’s matter to be heard four days before the ANC’s centenary celebrations on January 8.
He also turned down a proposal to meet the Malema team to discuss the appeal.
“I don’t think it is a good idea to engage the other side, unless they initiate it. Our experience is that they will use every opportunity to create delays. They do this in order to have the appellants (Malema and his co-accused) (to be) part of the January 8 programme.
“We have received information that they are busy with all sorts of shenanigans. The Mopani regional chairman and secretary had organised a meeting two weeks ago, where they invited (Malema) to address them.
“(Limpopo premier) Comrade Cassel (Mathale) was also present, according to the reports we have received. The agenda was basically to discuss their plans for mass mobilisations and to undermine the ANC president.
“They are busy printing t-shirts for January 8, which carry the slogan “Kgalema (Motlanthe) for president”… They are trying to mobilise ANC (Youth League) structures throughout the country in support of his campaign related to January 8,” Abrahamse wrote.
It is not clear how the e-mail landed in the hands of Malema’s defence team.
He added that “we therefore adhere as strictly as possible to what we are told by the (national disciplinary committee of appeals)”.
The league wrote to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe on Thursday, demanding that Abrahamse be charged for using the disciplinary process to “settle political scores”, “stifle debates” and “sow divisions”.
The letter said: “We believe that the conduct of comrade Uriel disqualifies him to continue being the national presenter of the ANC, not only for the case in question, but for all disciplinary proceedings of the ANC.”
Mantashe said he was not aware of a letter from the league complaining about Abrahamse.
“Even if I knew, it would not be for public consumption. If they choose to write a letter to me and give another copy to you, it is clearly their choice,” he added.
In an SMS, Abrahamse said: “How do you know about it?”
After he was told this was leaked by sources in Luthuli House, he said: “Surely then you should ask those who gave it to you.”
Memani was in a meeting when contacted for comment.
However, the e-mail did not help Malema’s case as the appeals committee refused to entertain it as a basis to show that his trial was not fair.
He could not be reached for comment.
Malema’s fate is still in the hands of Ramaphosa, ANC official Jessie Duarte, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, his predecessor Brigitte Mabandla, and Planning Minister Trevor Manuel.
Ramaphosa could not be reached either.
They will decide next week whether to uphold or overturn the sanctions imposed by the disciplinary committee chaired by Deputy Science Minister Derek Hanekom.
Malema, his deputy Ronald Lamola, league treasurer Pule Mabe, secretary Sindiso Magaqa and his deputy Kenetswe Mosenogi, and league spokesman Floyd Shivambu were charged and found guilty for various offences. - The Star