I read this piece from THE GUARDIAN, concerning the troubled ANC Youth leader of South Africa.
‘Julius Malema, above, was once considered ANC’s possible future leader by president Jacob Zuma but become his political nemesis. Photograph: Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images
A maverick youth leader in South Africa is facing life in the political wilderness after a failed appeal against suspension from the governing African National Congress.
Malema was once anointed a possible future leader by president Jacob Zuma but has since become his political nemesis.
Charges that he sowed divisions and brought the ANC into disrepute were upheld by the party’s disciplinary committee, which described some of Malema’s appeals as “naive and absurd”.
Malema is the first leader to suffer such punishment since the youth league was co-founded by Nelson Mandela in 1944. The loss of political influence and access to lucrative contracts represents a bitter blow to the ANC diehard, who joined the party aged nine and has become arguably South Africa’s most talked about and polarising politician. He once threw a BBC journalist out of a press conference, yelling: “Bloody agent!”
Following the announcement, Malema and fellow youth leaders made an attention-grabbing visit to the home of anti-apartheid struggle veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Soweto, according to local media reports. The ex-wife of Nelson Mandela has publicly backed Malema against Zuma.
Saturday’s verdict will be regarded as a boost to Zuma’s hopes of re-election at a party conference later this year. Malema, a radical voice for the nationalisation of mines and seizure of white-owned land, has become a rallying figure for his political enemies.
The youth league president was suspended in November on charges that included comparing Zuma unfavourably to his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, for failing to promote the “African agenda”.
Malema was also found guilty of calling for regime change in neighbouring Botswana, a source of diplomatic embarrassment.
“Discipline is one of the key pillars in the life of the ANC,” Cyril Ramaphosa, a senior ANC figure and head of the appeals committee, said at the party’s headquarters in Johannesburg.
In a minor reprieve, Malema and other youth leaders were cleared of the charge that they knowingly barged into and disrupted a meeting of the ANC’s top national officials. They were also granted leave to appeal against the length of their suspension within 14 days.
Malema, who is also facing a criminal probe into his finances, had retained his position as youth league leader while the appeal was heard. He was cheered by supporters at the ANC’s centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein last month, although he was denied a chance to address them’.
This young man, Julius Malema enjoys a popular support among members of the ruling ANC party and in the country itself. The ANC thinks their fire-brand youth leader has proven himself impetuous and recalcitrant. They however think he is not beyond correction and still needs to be educated. They did therefore not hesitate to bring down the heavy hands of punishment upon him. The punishment in itself is an audacious decision considering the strong support that the firebrand youth leader enjoys.
Entering into a very critical election, does Julius Malema’s case bring out any vital lessons to our political parties and to the nation Ghana as a whole? Are our political parties ready to discipline their members whose speeches and actions looks similar to that of Malema? It is so pathetic how political parties are ready to defend and protect a member when it is so obviously clear that what the said person did demands total condemnation. We now view wrong doing according to political parties. Is it not time we draw lessons from the ANC example and put national interest and peace first. Why should we tolerate people whose actions and sayings are detrimental to the peace and stability of our country simple because they belong to our political parties?
Julius Malema’s issue should be a wake-up call to all political parties across the continent. National interest should rise above partisan political interest. Long live Ghana.