Julius Malem, ANC youth leader to be disciplined ANC Party Leaders

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

 Julius Malema

JOHANNESBURG, Sunday - Julius Malema, the outspoken youth leader of South Africa's ruling ANC, will face a disciplinary hearing for bringing the party into disrepute, two weeks after being rebuked by the president, local media said.

 The ANC Youth League president had been ordered by the ANC to cool his racially tinged rhetoric, and was criticised for ignoring official policy on Zimbabwe and publicly backing Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe.

 He also embarrassed the party by throwing a foreign journalist out of a news conference and defied orders to stop singing songs that could add to racial tension.

 Malema has no policy-making role but has a loyal following within the youth league and among some black South Africans who feel the end of apartheid should have delivered more. He has spooked investors for demanding nationalisation of mines.

 Sunday newspapers said Malema would soon be called before a disciplinary committee, chaired by the ANC's Derek Hanekom, who is currently a deputy minister in the cabinet.

 ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe had written to him detailing the charges that could lead to punishment ranging from a reprimand to expulsion.

 This follows several calls by the party and President Jacob Zuma for an end to infighting and damaging public statements.

 The Sunday Times reported the charges included promoting racism, sexism, tribal chauvinism, religious and political intolerance, adding that youth league officials would meet with the ANC on Monday.

 ANC spokesman Ishmael Mnisi would not confirm the reports, saying such issues were never discussed in public. "We don't discuss (in the media) any issues relating to ANC internal organisational matters," he said.

 Youth league spokesmen could not be reached for comment.

 Earlier this month Zuma slammed Malema for acting in a manner that was "alien" to the culture of the ANC, listing issues from comments on Zimbabwe to the treatment of the media.

 The firebrand youth leader refused to stop singing an old anti-apartheid song, "Kill the Boer", that has been banned by the courts, and ranted at BBC journalist Jonah Fisher, calling him a "bastard" and "bloody agent" for interrupting him during a press conference.

Last month he was found guilty of hate speech for comments made about a woman who had accused Zuma of rape.

Malema was an important backer of Zuma in his campaign to lead the ANC and the country, but relations have soured, with the youth leader dismissing Zuma's rebuke and comparing him unfavourably to former President Thabo Mbeki.

Source: Daily Nation

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