Malema Farm

Friday 22 March 2013
by John Haylett

Time was when legal action or threats of discipline against controversial former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader Julius Malema would be countered by bombast and lively protest demonstrations.

But there was not a squeak from him or his dwindling band of supporters this week after the National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) was granted a forfeiture order for a farm he is said to own.

“The farm is estimated to be worth about R4 million (£283,000). This emanates from a freezing order on the same farm that was granted on December 5 2012 by the North Gauteng High Court,” said AFU official Medupe Simasiku.

South Africa’s Times newspaper reported that Malema had also missed a legal deadline to challenge an application by tax authority Sars to sequestrate his assets in respect of an unpaid R16m (£1.3m) tax bill.

Although the farm is registered to Gwama Properties, with Lesiba Gwangwa as the sole director, the court asserted that its real owner is Malema and that it was acquired with the proceeds from fraud, corruption, theft and money laundering.

Malema’s opponents in South Africa’s revolutionary alliance have long accused the former youth league leader of being immersed in so-called “tenderpreneurship” – using political influence to ensure awards of local authority contracts to particular contractors in return for a backhander.

His home province Limpopo was identified as the site of widespread corrupt dealings, perpetrated by tenderpreneurs described collectively as the “new tendency.”

Last month, a joint complaint authored by the Communist Party (SACP), the trade union federation Cosatu and liberation movement armed wing veterans MKMVA was lodged with the Hawks commercial crime unit against the co-operative governance, human settlement and traditional affairs department of the Limpopo provincial government, headed by Clifford Motsepe.

The complainants said that there was growing concern at corruption in Limpopo at the hands of the new tendency which had been defeated politically at the ANC December 2012 conference in Mangaung, “but not uprooted in Limpopo.”

They directed a plea to the ANC national executive committee for it to intervene by “halting the R900m tender awarded under corrupt and fraudulent circumstances without delay.”

SACP, Cosatu and MKMVA also urged the executive to place Motsepe’s department under special administration, together with the economic development and tourism office of Pinky Kekana.

At its meeting last weekend the ANC national leadership went further, dissolving the provincial executive committee “for displaying totally un-ANC behaviour and institutionalised factional conduct.”

It will convene a provincial general council in Limpopo this weekend to replace the current leadership.

The SACP in Limpopo welcomed the national executive decision as a means to “strengthen the ANC and the alliance in this province.”

“The SACP supports the decision and is looking forward to the new leadership collective who together with us will work tirelessly to strengthen the alliance,” said provincial secretary Gilbert Kganyago.

Education and health workers’ union Nehawu also backed the national leadership, calling the action “long overdue.”

The Nehawu provincial secretariat pointed out that the 2010 ANC national general council – a kind of party summit between conferences – had drawn a line against ill-discipline.

Those unwilling to be disciplined “should face the consequences,” the public service union declared.

However, Limpopo was not the only area to feel the ANC leadership’s rod of correction in response to growing problems of factionalism, indiscipline and violence, including even murder.

Former mineworkers’ leader Gwede Mantashe, who stepped down as SACP chairman to concentrate on his responsibility as ANC secretary-general, announced that the leadership’s national working committee will provide guidance in a number of provinces.

The NEC confirmed the suspension of a number of members in North West province charged with the murder of ANC regional secretary Aubuti Chika.

Mantashe, whose affable demeanour conceals a steel-like refusal to retreat on revolutionary principle, also announced the dissolution of the ANCYL national leadership, citing “continued ill-disciplined behaviour that brought the organisation into disrepute on numerous occasions.”

An interim team will be put in place by the national working committee, which will take responsibility for overseeing forthcoming ANCYL provincial and regional conferences.

In line with a decision taken at the Mangaung conference, the leadership unveiled an integrity commission, including Rivonia trialists Andrew Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada and Denis Goldberg and former ANC Women’s League president Gertrude Shope.

The commission will be empowered to investigate and dismiss members for corruption.

Mantashe refused to accept that leadership action indicated that the ANC was in crisis or that it was purging opponents of President Jacob Zuma.

“Rectification is not turmoil. When you correct your organisation, it’s not turmoil. You are strengthening your organisation,” he declared.

Mantashe said that the ANC had urged its youth league to sort out its issues but to no avail, making action inevitable.

“We can’t be casual about the youth league. They are the future of ANC. This is what informed us to break and rebuild it and the interim team must take their time,” he explained.

The secretary-general insisted that the national executive would not shrink from further firm action should it be necessary, explaining: “We are being bold and you can expect this type of boldness from us in the future.”

 John Haylett is political editor of the Morning Star

One thought on “ANC Youth League leadership change

  1. On corruption cases of Julius Malema, Clifford Motsepe should not be attached. The department cannot be placed under special administration, that will be a true factionalism. People of Limpopo are not getting essential services on the basis that the payment process done by national offices takes time.

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