'Sexwale pushes own power agenda'

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema is planning to campaign against President Jacob Zuma remaining in office for a second term when the ANC elects its leaders next year

Malema has to answer to the national disciplinary committee (NDC) on charges of bringing the party into disrepute. Meanwhile, NEC member and cabinet minister Tokyo Sexwale called on the leadership not to "destroy Malema , but guide and forgive him".

Sexwale also warned the ANC that Malema's disciplinary hearing should not be used to "settle political scores". He went on to say: "ANC officials need to be made aware of the possibility that they were wrong in charging Malema."

In the spirit of the ANC, the disciplinary matter of Malema and his executive followed the correct procedures. The disciplinary debate revolved around issues of undermining ANC policies and violations to party policies by league leaders. It was decided that members found guilty would be expelled from the organisation. That resolution resonated with congress members and was fully endorsed by the overwhelming majority present.

During the time of the NGC summit in Durban, neither Zuma nor any other leader called for Malema's expulsion.

At the summit, Zuma raised the matter saying, "we have noted some regrettable incidents, particularly relating to the ANCYL conference, which are unacceptable and need to be dealt with".

He added: "After the NGC, leadership would work with the Youth League intensively to deal with these organisational problems and to strengthen the Youth League so it can perform its role as the grooming school for future ANC leadership." Zuma also referred to "...all sorts of opportunistic tendencies".

The leagues inside the ANC, which would exclude Cosatu SACP, were subject to party discipline. "The ANC is not in alliance with its own leagues. Nor are the leagues alliance partners with the ANC," Zuma pointed out. However, a new phenomenon showed up at that summit. The top six most senior members of the ruling party were supposed to demonstrate coherent and united leadership. But one of them, Mathews Phosa, broke the ranks, publicly defending Malema. Then the question arose, how can the ANC effectively function and lead?

Meanwhile, the musical chairs changed. It is no longer Mathews Phosa supporting Malema and his executive, at least in public. Tokyo Sexwale took over.

Could Sexwale and Phosa shed some light on the aforementioned situation - making the ANC look like a dysfunctional organisation? Where was Sexwale during the Durban NGC when matters of organisational discipline were raised and agreed upon?

It would seem that his approach is immature and uninformed. He sells himself as the ruling party's and the country's future president, as he shows off his poor understanding of ANC policies and the need for disciplining its own. It is ironic that Sexwale now uses public platforms and internal lobbying tactics to talk about Zuma and Jackson Mthembu, when he had the opportunity to do so at the summit in Durban. It was also the time when Malema's first disciplinary hearing was conducted. But Sexwale kept mum then.

Sexwale later compared Zuma's court battles with the internal organisational disciplinary hearings of Malema.

What Sexwale forgets to mention is that the ANC never prosecuted Zuma nor charged the him for ill discipline.

It is on record that whatever trials and tribulations he faced, Zuma never rented crowds to toyi-toyi against the ANC. Zuma's conduct did not contradict or break ANC policies, or announced from any public platform that he is critical of, or against ANC policies.

The "Zuma case" differed further as it was the "State v Zuma" and not the "ANC v Zuma".

Malema's charges are an internal case of the ANC, involving its own constitution, rules and regulations. This could further mean that Malema's backers, too, are against the organisation's constitution .

Malema shows contradiction in his approach calling for assisting Botswana's opposition parties to unseat the president of Botswana. On the one hand, he condemned Nato forces for bombing Libya in order to topple Muammar Gaddafi, after which he called for the toppling of Botswana's president Ian Khama.

The above-mentioned is not ANC policy. The ruling party has a long-held non-interference principle in internal matters of independent, sovereign countries. Its own people thus manifest their revolution.

Party insiders point out that as time progresses, Sexwale shows deep flaws in his political character. It is ANC policy to enhance the position of the poor majority of the country. Sexwale however, arrogantly and recklessly enhances his personal position.

His public visit to a shack in Diepsloot, Johannesburg, is just one case in point, where his promises to built new houses for all have not materialised.

What would the ANC do about this? The time will come when the ANC will advance against such recklessness of trying to cease power by all means.

  • Froese is an independent political and socio-economic analyst and columnist.