AFTER months of prevaricating, the ANC has finally charged its Youth League leader, Julius Malema, for his outrageous behaviour.
In a statement issued on Friday, the chair of the party’s disciplinary committee, Derek Hanekom, said Malema would be 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 ANC”.
It is clear that the straw which broke the camel’s back was Malema’s stated intention to interfere in the internal politics of Botswana.
Malema said earlier this month that the neighbouring country was a threat to Africa because it was discussing a possible military base with “imperialists”.
“That puppet government [of President Ian Khama] is going to undermine the African agenda.”
He went on to call for Khama’s removal in a “democratic manner.”
“We know that Botswana is in discussions to open a military base for the imperialists and the present government of Botswana has the potential to co-operate in this manner,” he said.
That a leader of some stature in South Africa’s ruling party should announce plans to topple a neighbouring government is clearly totally unacceptable and the ANC is right to take Malema to task.
What is less clear is which of his other “utterances” will be dealt with.
Will the ANC have the courage to rein in Malema for his bombastic calls for nationalisation which have seriously damaged this country’s prospect of attracting foreign direct investment?
Will the party have the courage to call him to order over his outrageous racist statements which run counter to the party’s philosophy of non-racialism?
Having finally grasped the nettle, the ANC would be wise to go all the way, to mix a metaphor.
This is a fight to the death. If Malema survives unscathed because of weak prosecution or a reluctance to bring the full might of party discipline to bear, he will emerge stronger than ever.
He will then make a very damaging bid to unseat the party leadership at its Manguang conference next year, leading to more uncertainty over leadership and the direction this country is taking.
South Africa is a robust democracy, but the ANC must understand that the messages its senior leaders send out are taken to be the views of the governing party.
The consequences for South Africa of Malema’s attack on the fabric of society have already been severe. Let’s hope this action is not too little, too late.
Yeah, yeah Ray – whatever.
The real question is, how much of this is BS which Helen Zille will correct live on air tomorrow?
Malema has been ruthlessly steering this country into a racial conflict. Sadly I agree with many of his statements … yes and I am white … but unfortunately we have to act responsible and respect investors and other races and religions in this country. So we cannot say what we want …
He should have been fired a long time ago and investigated for corruption. And he should have been banned from the ANC, because his utterances are those of an ultra-radical racist.
Malema is a monster created largely by the South African media – what power would he have otherwise wielded in the country? By constantly publicising his moronic comments, the media has helped foster the racial conflict Bierpens above is referring to.
Whether the ANC does something about it through the disciplinary hearing remains to be seem but it’s probably safe not to hold your breath.
I don’t believe the ANC is serious about disciplining Malema at all – it seems the man can do whatever he pleases without consequences. How about the SARS audit that never happened despite plenty of suspicious activity regarding Malema’s tax affairs?
Wow… interesting to read this article a year on and even more interesting to see that Julius Malema continues to remain a thorn in the side of part of the ANC (the Zuma part, Motlanthe appears to be safe for now!)