Dear President Jacob Zuma

If the report in today’s The Times is true, then our party and country will enter its most divisive time in history. Julius Malema and his business clique in the ANC are fascists. They have demonstrated disrespect to everyone including you as our party leader.

Just as Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein tolerates the fascist threats of the South African Zionist Federation, when he should disown them, if this report is true, and, with respect to your office, you as our party’s most important post-apartheid President (faced with greater political, social and economic than former Presidents Mandela and Mbeki) are letting down progressive members of the ANC and the people of South Africa.

The Constitution commands that we uphold the rule of law not the rule of thugs. Julius Malema like Avrom Krengel and the AWB are thugs.

Thinking people must resist the trend towards violence and fascism across the spectrum of politics and as President of the ANC and our country, I believe you will have the support of every decent person to remove thugs from the ANC.

Zackie Achmat (ANC member since 1980)

See also two other blog pieces on Writing Rights — Julius Malema and the Roots of Fascism in South Africa (09 April 2010) and Of language and politics: The language of disrespect has descended from the highest levels of leadership (15 March 2010)

Malema off the hook as Zuma makes U-turn

April 20, 2010 12:05 AM | By SIPHO MASONDO
The ANC is set to drop all disciplinary charges against Julius Malema following a sudden change of heart by President Jacob Zuma.

According to ruling party insiders, Zuma and other top ANC leaders decided to withdraw the charges against Malema following a lengthy meeting with the youth league.

Although the meeting was initially supposed to be attended by all six ANC officials, treasurer-general Mathews Phosa did not pitch up while secretary-general Gwede Mantashe left early to attend one of his children’s graduation ceremony.

With only Zuma, deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, deputy secretary-general Thandi Modise and national chairwoman Baleka Mbete representing the ANC, the youth league leadership had its way.

It is understood that the youth league argued that the ANC had no right to charge Malema as he spoke on behalf of the league and that if disciplinary action needed to be taken, it should be against the youth wing as a whole.

Modise is expected to make public the controversial decision at a press conference today.

Although the ANC and its youth wing were mum last night following the tense meeting, various sources close to the league said Malema had been let off the hook.

“To summarise everything for you,” said a senior youth league leader who did not want to be named, “Julius is very powerful”.

Another youth league leader, who also did not want to be named, said this morning’s announcement will still be subject to ratification by the ANC’s national executive committee which is to meet next month

Zuma and the ANC had initially pushed for disciplinary action against Malema following a number of embarrassing public pronouncements and actions.

The party last week served Malema with a charge sheet accusing him of:

Bringing the party into disrepute by endorsing Zimbabwea President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF at a time when Zuma was trying to broker a deal in that country;

Allegedly claiming that Zuma was worse then former president Thabo Mbeki in his dealing with the youth league;

Commenting on the killing of AWB leader Eugene Terre Blanche after the ANC had ordered its members to refrain from doing so; and

Calling a BBC journalist a “bastard” and a “bloody agent”.

But The Times understands that while Motlanthe insisted that the disciplinary hearing – scheduled for early next month – should go ahead, Zuma caved in under Malema’s pressure.

Apparently Malema’s supporters pointed out that the youth league leader had gone to Zimbabwe with the president’s blessing and that he cannot, therefore, be charged for his actions.

The youth league also reportedly capitalised on the support it had given Zuma when he came under fire for fathering a child out of wedlock with soccer boss Irvin Khoza’s daughter.

An ANC staffer at Luthuli House told The Times last night that Malema will be exonerated.

Another youth leader said Malema’s victory was temporary as the NEC will make the final determination. – Additional reporting by Dominic Mahlangu