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.
Statement by President JG Zuma on political conduct and social cohesion
10 April 2010
Ladies and gentlemen of the media,
At the meeting of the ANC’s National Executive Committee last month, we spoke out strongly about the need for discipline among the members of the organisation and more generally for all to respect the rules of political engagement.
As the organisation’s leadership we were drawing the line, and that there would be consequences for anyone who crossed that line.
Matters relating to the conduct and statements of the ANC Youth League which are totally alien to the culture of the ANC have made it necessary for us to emphasise a few fundamental principles today. Read More…
This is the full statement issued by the ANC in which the throwing of political insults is “outlawed” …
The National Executive committee held its regular meeting in Esselperk, Ekurhuleni over two days, 12-13 March 2010. The focus of the meeting was on strengthening the organisation both in the party structures and in government. The Political overview of the President provided clear leadership and the NEC dedicated sufficient time discussing it and took the following decisions: -
As part of facilitating discussions in the structures of the ANC in preparation for the National General Council (NGC) in September the political overview will be circulate to all structures of the movement. NEC members will be deployed to all the regions to facilitate these discussions.
The state of readiness to hold provincial conferences in both the North West and the Western Cape was discussed by the NEC. There was agreement that good work was being done in both these provinces. The NEC decided that both provinces be given some extension of time to hold their provincial conferences by the first week of December 2010. The performance of the individual members of these Provincial Task Teams will be assessed and the teams be strengthened where there is need. Read More…
In light of the vicious tongue-lashing Winning Madikizela-Mandela gave Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the Evening Standard, The Times decided to publish the (edited for lenght) text of a speech she gave in February. It was light, warm and touching. Read on …
Speech at Wits University to mark 20 years since Mandela’s release in February this year
The day the treason trial ended in 1961, Nelson Mandela came home with the ANC national executive committee members and said he would be back after a week. That week was to last for 27 years.
He was loving, fond of children, a people’s person and a very hard worker. His fearlessness, his unassailable morality, his unwavering commitment to the struggle for total freedom and his insistence on marching to his own beat were the hallmarks of his character. Read More…
TWENTY years ago today, Nelson Mandela walked through the gates of Victor Verster prison after 27 years in jail.
The story of how Mandela overcame the temptation of vengeance to craft a new South Africa which sought to accommodate all has defined this nation for 20 years. Of course the ANC played a vital role in formulating and then backing the policy of reconciliation on which this democracy was built.
But it took the personality, drive and dynamic leadership of Mandela to make it real. He understood the importance of symbolism. Here was a man who grasped the demobilising impact that having tea with the widow of Hendrik Verwoerd would have on the right wing.
He famously pulled on the the Springbok Number 6 jersey and strode onto Ellis Park before the kick-off of the Rugby World Cup Victory of 1995 because he knew the meaning of leadership.
Reconciliation bought him the space to sweep decades of Apartheid legislation on education, health, labour and welfare off the books, replacing it with a raft of laws designed to change the face of South Africa.
And, in the eyes of all but a few die-hard cynics, this country has changed for the better in a myriad of ways.
Today Mandela will be honoured as the nation revisits his walk to freedom and celebrates his contribution to democracy.
But the celebrations take place under a shadow. Twenty years on, Mandela’s struggle faces an enemy that is much more difficult to define than the system of apartheid. Many of the values embodied by Mandela are giving way as the new enemies of greed, corruption and cronyism set their hands about the throat of democracy.
The high office once occupied by Mandela is now in the hands of a serial philanderer who escaped corruption charges under controversial circumstances. We have come a long way, but the road ahead is much harder.
Address to SACP Congress by the President of the ANC Comrade Jacob Zuma, University of Limpopo, Polokwane
12 December 2009
I bring fraternal and revolutionary greetings from the African National Congress national executive committee and its membership.
We bring good wishes to the SACP as it holds its special congress.
This congress is taking place during a very critical period in the history of the Alliance. It is a period during which there is an intense focus on the relations amongst the Alliance partners. Read More…
OPENING ADDRESS BY SACP CHAIRPERSON, CDE GWEDE MANTASHE, TO THE SACP SPECIAL NATIONAL CONGRESS: 10 DECEMBER 2009.
Two and a half years ago Communists and the Alliance partner representatives gathered in the Nelson Mandela Metropalitan University to do a detailed analysis of the political situation in our country and chart the way forward for the party. At the time there were few challenges that we had to deal with: -
• Within the party structures there was a visible body that argued for the SACP standing for elections independently of the ANC.
• Alliance relations could be described in simple terms that there was general hostility and a strong drive to break the alliance.
• As a result Communists and COSATU were pushed to the periphery and their voice almost muzzled.
We then resolved to build a campaigning party. The Medium Term Vision was based on the understanding that communists must be in all centres of power. At the time it was understood that communist set themselves an objective of contesting ideologically wherever they found themselves. Read More…