THE ANC Youth League’s Julius Malema has won round one of his battle with the ANC’s disciplinary committee by getting two adversaries removed from the panel.
Collins Chabane and Susan Shabungu, both of whom have publicly criticised Malema over earlier controversial public statements have recused themselves from the panel, removing some of its sting.
The ANC has finally formally confirmed what the Sunday Times reported two days ago – that its treasurer general, Mathews Phosa, will represent him in the hearing. The presence of Phosa and the absence of Chabane and Shabungu will give Malema heart and he is already reconsidering his blanket not guilty plea. He may contest the charge that he broke party discipline by cosying up to Robert Mugabe. His defence will be that the party has no policy to remain neutral on Zimbabwe.
When the committee reconvenes next Tuesday, expect Malema to have built up a little more confidence. Sparks will fly.
THE ANC has set the 5th of May as the date on which it will begin disciplinary proceedings against its errant youth leader, Julius Malema.
The charges revolve around Malema’s deliberate breech of an ANC instruction not to incite race tensions following the murder of Eugene Terre Blanche and his open support for Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe.
What is not immediately clear is just how committed the ANC is to imposing discipline on Malema.
A statement issued after the ANC’s top leadership met with the leadership of its youth league read: “The ANC has preferred charges against the ANC Youth League President, Cde Julius Malema. In this regard, we would like to restate that issues of discipline in the ANC belongs to the structures of the ANC and are therefore not matters of the public or the media.”
This request for privacy is wishful thinking by the ANC. The fact is that this matter is of great interest to all who wish to ascertain which path the ruling party intends leading the country down.
If it were to be phrased crudely, the question on the lips of the nation is this: Does our future belong to those who would like to nationalise the economy, support Robert Mugabe and stir up racial tensions or not?
The meeting between the leaders gave some insight into the answer to this question.
What is known is that the ANC’s secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, missed the bulk of the meeting with the league because he had to attend the graduation ceremony of one of his children.
The absence of Mantashe, both because of his official duties and his low tolerance for the likes of Malema, does not bode well for the disciplinary process.
Some accounts of the meeting suggest that the league mounted a defence of sorts — to the effect that Malema was speaking on behalf the the organisation and not off his own bat.
This would be an extraordinary step in any organisation as such discussion usually only takes place within the confines of the official proceedings.
Such a contribution ought to have been ruled out of order and reserved for the proceedings themselves.
When May 5 comes around, the country would like to see the ruling party re-establish order.
The ANC needs to decide on and vigorously pursue a value system that the majority of South Africans can buy into, one which is unequivocally against racism and intolerant of rabble-rousing populism.
This applies to the disciplinary hearing, but it also applies beyond the doors of Luthuli House.
The country expects government and the President to provide strong and clear leadership in an environment where there are challenges to the stability of the country.
For nearly a year now, the Presidency has played host to a Planning Minister, but no plan has yet emerged as Trevor Manuel appears caught in an endless cycle of consultations with parties who contest his authority.
Zuma must bring all of this uncertainty about the direction we are taking to an end by providing clear leadership and spelling out a vision for this country that we can all help achieve.
Prime Minister Robert Mugabe’s address to the Zimbabwean nation in April 1980
(read the whole thing or, if life’s too short, the parts I’ve highlighted in bold.)
Long live our Freedom!
The final countdown before the launching of the new State of Zimbabwe has now begun. Only a few hours from now, Zimbabwe will have become a free, independent and sovereign state, free to choose its own flight path and chart its own course to its chosen destiny. Its people have made a democratic choice of those who as their legitimate Government, they wish to govern them and take policy decisions as to their future.
This, indeed, is the meaning of the mandate my party secured through a free and fair election, conducted in the full glare of the world’s spotlight.While my Government welcomes the mandate it has been freely given and is determined to honour it to the letter, it also accepts that the fulfillment of the tasks imposed by the mandate are only possible with the confidence, goodwill and co-operation of all of you, reinforced by the forthcoming support and encouragement of all our friends, allies, and well wishers in the international community. Read More…
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma’s appeal to Britain to lift the sanctions against President Robert Mugabe’s elite may fall on deaf ears.
Zuma’s argument is that the dropping of sanctions is supported by the entire Zimbabwe unity government.
He believes the gesture would send a signal to the world that Zimbabwe was on the road to political recovery and once again an acceptable investment destination.
He is right and South Africans ought to move beyond the knee-jerk rejection of any recognition of Mugabe’s legitimacy.
Observers of Zimbabwe, rightly outraged by Mugabe’s shocking anti-democratic record, want the unity government to be a step on the road to removing Mugabe from the state altogether.
But the truth is that Mugabe and Tsvangirai are sharing the spoils and there has been no decisive victory of one over the other.
A conditional lifting of sanctions which insists on proper open democratic processes including free-and-fair elections could be just the thing that Zimbabwe needs to move forward right now.
It would be a mistake to allow Mugabe and his cronies free access to global banking facilities as this would free the way for more looting of the state coffers.
But such considerations should not stand in the way of efforts to shift Zimbabwe closer to democracy.
Instead the lifting of sanctions should not include the freedom of the Zimbabwean elite to move money around the world.
Zimbabwe has shown slow but steady progress and this ought to be recognised by the world.
To insist that sanctions remain as long as Mugabe is part of the unity government is to prevent Zimbabwe from moving forward.
SOUTH Africa has a very strong vested interest in a stable Zimbabwe. The pressure on our state resources is massive as a result of instability to the north.
How will that pressure be relieved? Jacob Zuma seems to think that the “political solution” offered by a unity government led by Robert Mugabe with Morgan Tsvangirai will bring stability to Zimbabwe.
But this is a short-term answer that does not deal with the twin mainsprings of the Zimbabwean problem – the absence of a serious strategy to return the economy to health and the people’s continuing lack of confidence in their government.
As I write this, there are farmers being driven off their farms by mobs. If you don’t believe me, read this account published in The Times this morning. It was written by this paper’s former deputy editor, Moses Mudzwiti, a man who is not easily driven to exaggeration.
It is clear that there is no progress being made towards sorting out Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector, without which there can be no progress on rebuilding the economy.
And without political participation – a free and fair election and a government which represesents the majority, there can be no political progress.
At the moment there is but farcical progress on these two fronts.
Yet, like his predecessor Thabo Mbeki, Zuma appears mesmerised by Robert Mugabe, now in his third decade of power. He wants Zimbabwe readmitted to the Commonwealth.
The effect of this would be to bestow legitimacy on what Mugabe is continuing to do to Zimbabwe.
An open letter to Public Enterprises committee chairman, Vytjie Mentor,
First, let me express my appreciation for your concern about my emotional well-being. It’s always good to know that public representatives like yourself take time out of your busy schedule to protect people like me from exogenous psychological shocks.
I know that you meant well when you decided not to release Eskom’s schedule of ludicrously high increases for the forthcoming years because they would create “public consternation”.
In Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe faced this very same problem. He solved it by making the causing of “public consternation” illegal. Whenever someone tried to do so they were arrested. It was a very good effort, but it seems that public consternation has spiralled out of control regardless.
Actually, now that I think about it, there should be public consternation at Eskom’s proposed three years of painful increases in the price of electricity. A little consternation sometimes goes a long way when it comes to halting the appetite of parastatals for our money.
In fact, maybe you could represent that public consternation. I don’t know of anyone who voted in the recent election who is not consternated over their electricity bill, so to speak.
There’s an idea. Have you thought of representing the public? It’s off the wall, but it’s worth a shot, to mix metaphors.