Malema, Shivambu disciplinary hearing dates set
19 August 2011 | Natasha Marrian
JOHANNESBURG - The disciplinary hearings of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema and spokesman Floyd Shivambu will take place on August 30 and 31.
"The dates that have been established... are the 30 and the 31 of August, which we believe gives them adequate opportunity to prepare themselves for the case," ANC national disciplinary committee chairman Derek Hanekom told eNews on Friday.
"The members have already been informed of their rights under the [party's] constitution, including their right to appeal whatever the outcome of the hearing might be.
"These matters will again be presented to the charged members... so, as the charged member sits in front of us he will be informed of his rights, and the charges will be presented to him, and then the charges will be dealt with in more detail by those that have levelled the charges," Hanekom told the broadcaster.
Malema and Shivambu would be "charged individually".
"The member then will be given the opportunity to counter those charges, or to defend themselves against those charges, and at the end of the day there will be a ruling by the national disciplinary committee as a whole.
Hanekom in an earlier statement confirmed the ANC -- through its national officials -- on Friday served charges on the two over comments made about Botswana.
The national officials include ANC president Jacob Zuma, deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, secretary general Gwede Mantashe, his deputy Thandi Modise, treasurer general Mathews Phosa and chairwoman Baleka Mbete.
"Both... have been charged with various violations of the ANC constitution, including bringing the ANC into disrepute through his utterances and statements on Botswana and sowing divisions in the ranks of the African National Congress."
Malema and Shivambu would be entitled to representation by an ANC member in good standing.
"We are not commenting on that... we are not commenting on that at all," Shivambu said.
Malema recently said the league would send a team to Botswana to consolidate local opposition parties and help bring about regime change. It believed the government there was "in full co-operation with imperialists" and undermining the "African agenda".
The ANC publicly rebuked the league. The league in turn said it did not believe it was in the wrong or going against ANC policy. It expressed disappointment at being publicly rebuked before the matter had been internally discussed.
Mantashe said the league's challenging the ruling party publicly was a "serious transgression".
On Saturday the ANCYL withdrew the statement on Botswana and apologised to its ruling body.
Opposition parties gave the disciplinary action the thumbs-up on Friday.
The United Democratic Movement said it was long overdue. UDM secretary general Bongani Msomi said Malema had been acting like a bull in a china shop for far too long, and South Africans had borne the brunt of his utterances.
"The damage his blind insolence has done to our economy is incalculable."
Freedom Front Plus spokesman Anton Alberts said Malema should also have been charged with bringing the ANC into disrepute with his "racist comments against white people".
Last year an ANC disciplinary hearing found Malema guilty of a public attack on Zuma. He pleaded guilty to this charge. Speaking to reporters on April 11, 2010 he criticised Zuma for rebuking him in public and compared him to his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki.
At the time the ANC's disciplinary committee said that should Malema be found guilty of provoking serious divisions or a break-down of unity in the organisation within the next two years, his party membership would be suspended.
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