GAYE DAVIS and SHANTI ABOOBAKER
JULIUS Malema’s hopes for his expulsion from the ANC to be overturned have been dashed. The ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) has found no grounds to overturn the decision to expel the youth league firebrand, says ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, briefing journalists on the outcome of Monday’s special NEC meeting in Joburg yesterday.
The ANC’s constitution does not provide for an automatic review of a disciplinary outcome by the NEC. Instead, supporters of Malema would have had to persuade the body to discuss the issue – and then win the argument that his case deserves another look. Mantashe said yesterday that after a “robust, open and dispassionate” discussion by the NEC, the majority had found there were no “compelling reasons for a review of Malema’s expulsion”.
This means that unless Malema succeeds in getting someone to raise the matter at the party’s national elective conference in Mangaung in December, it’s the end of the road for him in the ANC.
“After a long discussion, the NEC agreed there were no compelling grounds to review the decision of the NDCA (national disciplinary committee of appeal). This, therefore, closes the chapter on this matter, including the leaks.”
Mantashe said the NEC had to “test if there was an appetite to review Malema’s case”. There was no provision for the coming ANC policy conference to deal with the disciplinary cases, adding that the ANC constitution was “very clear on the business of the conference”.
Mantashe slammed what he described as a “malicious SMS”, purportedly from the ANC Youth League and circulated among journalists on Monday night, that claimed “battle lines” had been drawn during the meeting, with Malema’s allies on the NEC fighting hard for the decision to expel him to be overturned.
“There was no NEC versus (President Jacob) Zuma in the ANC. We want to put on record that members of the NEC who wanted to speak yesterday were able to express their views without fear or favour,” Mantashe said.
The SMS which circulated among journalists also claimed that NEC member Tony Yengeni and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande “nearly fought physically”.
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu denied the claim, saying there was no “pushing and shoving” during the meeting.
Insiders said, however, that it had been fraught with tension.