Zuma slams Winnie over Juju
President Jacob Zuma has lambasted senior ANC leaders who have called for a political solution to the disciplinary charges against youth league leader Julius Malema.
In what has been interpreted as a veiled attack on Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Zuma told the ANC's national working committee (NWC) on Monday that the behaviour of these leaders was "unacceptable".
He did not mention names.
He said some leaders were questioning the ANC's disciplinary processes because their "friends" were affected, adding that the ANC could not be run like that.
"He said they only heard in the corridors that some leaders want a political solution to Malema's disciplinary hearing ... that [those leaders] have never put their request formally, and it would be better if they did," said an insider.
Zuma was speaking three days after Madikizela-Mandela slammed the ruling party and suggested it was ill-treating Malema.
Accepting her Ubuntu Award at a function organised by the National Heritage Council last weekend, sheexpressed her support for Malema, saying no other young party leader had ever been hauled before a disciplinary committee.
"No other leader of the youth has gone through what you have. I hope you are listening, my grandson Julius," she said to Malema, who was in the audience.
Malema is facing a number of charges brought before the disciplinary committee by Zuma and other senior party officials. Madikizela-Mandela and Minister of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale are expected to testify in Malema's defence when the hearing resumes on October 16.
This week, Sexwale warned that disciplinary action against Malema and other youth league leaders was causing serious tensions in the organisation.
Speaking on e.tv, he said ANC leaders had erred in charging Malema and that the hearing should not be used to settle political scores. "No disciplinary action should be taken for political or personal reasons. It is not a court process, not a persecution, not a prosecution ... this is a last opportunity given to anybody," he said.
The hearing was postponed this week after Malema was admitted to hospital with "flu-like symptoms" - days after he had led a youth league national executive committee meeting that disbanded the organisation's KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee.
The KwaZulu-Natal executiveangered Malema and his executive for coming out in support of Zuma's bid for a second term as ANC leader.
At a meeting between the league's NEC and the disbanded executive, the latter refused to apologise to Malema.
Ousted provincial chairman Mthandeni Dlungwane told Malema that he did not owe him or the youth league an apology.
"Mthandeni said they won't apologise. He said they were merely carrying out a resolution taken by the provincial congress. Malema was not happy and said the KZN comrades do not respect the leadership," said an NEC member who was at the meeting.
A provincial task team has since been appointed to replace the executive.
ANC spokesman Keith Khoza said he could not comment on the NWC's discussions, as he was not at the meeting.