Pretoria - Former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema’s chances of returning to the ANC appear completely hopeless after his “love letter” to the ANC’s national executive committee failed to make it on to the national conference programme.
Malema was expelled from the ANC after a disciplinary committee found him guilty of bringing the party into disrepute and sowing divisions by comparing the leadership style of ANC president Jacob Zuma to that of former president Thabo Mbeki. His close allies, former spokesman Floyd Shivambu and former secretary Sindiso Magaqa, were also suspended.
Shivambu was found guilty of swearing at a journalist and threatening regime change in Botswana, while Magaqa got in hot water for insulting then-NEC member and Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.
The trio wrote to the national conference asking it, as the highest decision-making body, to reverse their expulsion and suspensions. But the letter apparently arrived when the conference programme had already been adopted. “We received a letter on Sunday but the conference already adopted the programme and it could not be accommodated in the programme,” secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said.
The matter regarding Malema, Shivambu and Magaqa had been “discussed, exhausted and finished”, Mantashe said.
The issue had also not been raised from the floor, where it had to be supported by 25 percent of delegates to be discussed, he said.
There was talk at the conference yesterday that the matter would be raised by the youth league, but at the time of going to press the plenary was still in session and there were no indications it had been raised.
The national conference is the last chance for Malema to be reinstated as youth league president or for the the decision to expel him to be reviewed and overturned.
The matter may also be reviewed by the national executive committee but with the litany of attacks Malema has launched against Zuma since his expulsion, he is unlikely to receive any sympathy from the new national executive committee expected to be announced today.
In the joint letter, labelled a “love letter” by spokesman Jackson Mthembu, the three said they remained loyal ANC members and supporters and were willing to be guided by its principles.
* The ANC Youth League will contest efforts by some to have its executive disbanded, Gauteng chairman Lebogang Maile said on Wednesday.
“I don’t think there is any basis to disband the executive,” he said.
A few delegates had proposed the idea during commissions on the ANC’s organisational renewal document.
However, it was “not a popular view”, Maile said.