Julius Malema, president of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL), adresses the crowd of youth outside the parent body's disciplinary hearing., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
'Juju fever' ebbs as Malema's hearing adjourns till Friday
STAFF REPORTER AND SAPA | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Aug 31 2011 16:49
The disciplinary hearing involving ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema and five of his colleagues has been adjourned until Friday, the league said on Wednesday afternoon.
"Malema is consulting lawyers inside at the moment," spokesperson Floyd Shivambu told reporters outside ANC headquarters Luthuli House in Johannesburg.
He said the hearings would continue at the venue on Friday.
The youth league's deputy secretary general Kenetswe Mosenogi thanked those who had gathered outside for their support.
"A lot has happened that we can't tell you about right now, due to internal matters, but we want to tell you that victory is certain."
He also thanked supporters for their behaviour on Wednesday.
"We are the future of South Africa. The future depends on us as the youth."
When he and Shivambu finished speaking the crowd dispersed.
ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu told the Mail & Guardian the inquiry would continue "in parts".
“The people appearing are no longer there but the members of the disciplinary committee will continue deliberating on what has happened so far,” he said.
Mthembu would not elaborate on the decision to have the hearing temporarily delayed.
ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said the hearing continued and the disciplinary committee would deal with each of the accused individually.
Reports on Wednesday said Malema failed in a bid on Tuesday to get the ANC members hearing the charges to recuse themselves.
Committee chair Derek Hanekom, Mining Minister Susan Shabangu and Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane were on the panel.
Malema supporters on Wednesday marched in the streets around Luthuli House, whistling, blowing vuvuzelas and pointing at the building and saying, "Voetsek".
Some held up placards stating, "Juju a profound thinker ... a champion of our economic policies".
The South African Students Congress (Sasco) and the Eastern Cape ANC condemned the violent behaviour by ANC Youth League supporters on the first day of the hearing.
"We are extremely angered by the reported sexual harassment and assault on a female journalist by these hooligans who purport to be ANC Youth League members," Sasco president Mbulelo Mandlana said outside Luthuli House.
"We call on the ANC Youth League not just to distance itself but to act decisively against those within its ranks who committed this sexual assault ... and those who trashed equipment," he said.
On Tuesday, rioters trashed Johannesburg's streets and attacked journalists and police officers, several of whom were hit by rocks, while women journalists reported being groped.
The ANC in the Eastern Cape also "strongly condemns the regrettable acts of hooliganism".
"We are utterly dismayed by the burning of the ANC flags, T-shirts and posters bearing the face of the president. We request the NEC [national executive committee] to spare no effort in identifying these culprits and they must face the full might of our disciplinary processes," said provincial spokesperson Mlibo Qhoboshiyane in a statement.
"It is our view that those who have taken the responsibility to mobilise and bus crowds to gather outside Luthuli House -- the leadership of the ANC Youth League -- should also take full responsibility for the violence, criminality and ill-discipline that has accompanied these crowds."
'Discipline the youth'
The Congress of South African Trade Unions in Limpopo also called for ANC Youth League officials to be disciplined.
Earlier on Wednesday, supporters, including some children, held posters saying: "Hands off our youth league president"; "Juju fever"; and "Juju never said let's bomb Botswana like imperialists from Libya or Iraq".
Some wore T-shirts portraying the face of ousted president Thabo Mbeki, who was removed from office a few months after Jacob Zuma became leader of the ANC.
Journalists and police in riot gear watched from behind a barbed wire barricade.
'Don't touch SA or its journalists'
On Tuesday, Malema urged his supporters to refrain from attacking the media and police.
Police officials said a colleague who was hit by a rock on Tuesday had received stitches in hospital and was back on duty on Wednesday.
Most businesses were open again after closing their doors on Tuesday.
Malema, league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, deputy president Ronald Lamola, secretary general Sindiso Magaqa, his deputy Kenetswe Mosenogi, and treasurer general Pule Mabe were facing charges of bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing divisions in ANC ranks.
This was after Malema said the league would send a team to Botswana to consolidate local opposition parties and to help bring about regime change, as it believed the government there was "in full co-operation with imperialists" and was undermining the "African agenda".