Millions intended to be spent on the health needs of Eastern Cape residents have gone missing from d.
ANC Youth Leader Julius Malema has been cleared by the organisation's disciplinary committee.
In an incident that could make President Jacob Zuma appear weaker, Malema's defence clearly forced the national disciplinary committee to clear him, also silencing those who had advocated his dismissal from the party.
Malema was cleared on three crucial charges. But insiders said a decision on the fourth charge - that of saying Zuma was like former president Thabo Mbeki - had been referred to the national executive committee.
During the second leg of his disciplinary hearing at the ANC headquarters in Luthuli House yesterday, Malema won the day on the following charges:
l Disregarding an ANC instruction for its members to "restrain" themselves from singing the controversial struggle era song Ayesab' amagwala pending an outcome of an ANC appeal against a high court ruling which outlawed the song.
l Undermining an ANC national executive committee instruction for its members not to comment about the death of AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche.
l Undermining Zuma efforts as mediator in Zimbabwe by publicly praising President Robert Mugabe and presenting the Zanu-PF regime as heroes and publicly attacking the opposition MDC.
A highly placed source in the Luthuli House told Sowetan that Malema, however, remained embroiled in a charge related to him comparing Zuma to Mbeki.
Attached to this was a charge of bringing the ANC into disrepute for hurling insults at a BBC journalist Jonah Fisher.
Late yesterday the ANCYL issued a statement denying that it had ever compared Zuma to Mbeki.
Youth league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu yesterday blamed the media for distorting Malema comments.
Last month, ANC deputy general secretary Thandi Modise told a briefing that the ANC top brass, which discussed Malema's charges, was particularly offended by his comparison of Zuma to Mbeki.
"We took issue because we do not like any impression in the public that says this leader was better or bad than this one," Modise had said.
It was this regime, while campaigning to oust Mbeki ahead of the ANC's watershed conference in Polokwane in 2007 that branded Mbeki an autocrat and a dictator.
The disciplinary committee headed by Science and Technology Deputy Minister Derek Hanekom was expected to present its finding to the ANC national executive committee meeting next week.
Also coming out of Malema's disciplinary hearing yesterday was a clear isolation of ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe by the rest of the ANC's top six.
A source said: "The whole issue was being peddled by the SG. He is the one who complained, not the officials of the ANC.
"He made his presentation to the hearing but he had to accept that the charges would be dismissed.
"The committee said those charges should not have been part of the charge sheet and the whole issue could have been resolved by other means."
The top leadership lost the appetite to discipline Malema with one of its members, party treasurer-general Mathews Phosa, agreeing to defend Malema at the hearing.
But insiders argued that the charge will not stick since there is no rule prohibiting members from comparing Zuma to Mbeki.
"After all Mbeki and Zuma are from the same school of the ANC and there are similarities between the two comrades," a source said.
"Malema has enough support and he is powerful in the NEC. The president miscalculated and was under pressure from markets and reactionary forces," another source said.
Previously Modise rejected suggestions that a fallout with the youth league would render Zuma a lame duck president for the remainder of his term.
"Zuma was not made by the youth league. Zuma has been an ANC leader for a long time. That is why he was elected as a leader of the ANC by branches and structures of the ANC," she said.
"Whatever it is that Malema does or does not do cannot either make Zuma a strong president or a weak president.
"Zuma will be judged by his performance as president of the ANC and he will be judged by the performance of the government he leads."