Sat Sep 23 02:24:06 CAT 2017

Crowds revel in Malema's demise as ANCYL leader

By Chester Makana and Alex Matlala | 2012-02-06 06:18:40.0

'This is the sign that the ANC does not belong to an individual'

SUSPENDED ANC Youth League president Julius Malema will officially vacate his office in the next few days following his suspension.

Malema should receive a letter from ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe informing him that he has been suspended for five years as a member of the ANC. He therefore cannot continue in his current position.

This comes after the ANC's national disciplinary appeals committee dismissed his appeal but referred the matter back to the party's national disciplinary committee for mitigation of sentence. He has 14 days to do that, but his guilty verdict cannot be changed.

Yesterday Malema's opponents in his township in Seshego outside Polokwane praised disciplinary appeals committee chairman Cyril Ramaphosa for "saving them from Malema" after announcing the decision.

They poured out into the streets after Ramaphosa had announced that the appeals committee has decided not to set aside Malema's suspension.

They sang revolutionary songs praising Ramaphosa, saying they had been freed from Malema.

"Ramaphosa saved us. The ANC will regain its dignity, we are happy," said a member of the disbanded Peter Mokaba region.

"This is the sign that the ANC does not belong to an individual. It is an organisation that we all joined," he said.

Some members went to sing outside Malema's home, provoking members of his family.

Security officials had to prevent the crowd from entering the yard.

Hours later demonstrators returned to the shopping complex carrying a coffin half covered with a Malema T-shirt, and singing "rest in peace former youth league president".

His ally, Cassel Mathale, and his provincial executive committee leadership have however been endorsed by the ANC national executive cmmittee.

But the NEC has convened a team of inspectors to probe allegations of vote-rigging raised by Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Joe Phaahla following last year's provincial conference.