ANC rejects Malema bid to halt discipline case
South Africa's ruling ANC dismissed an application Friday by its youth wing leader Julius Malema to drop disciplinary charges against him, saying the hearing would continue.
"The NDC (national disciplinary committee) rules that the respondent's application to quash all the charges is dismissed," said the party's disciplinary committee in a statement after examining 22 arguments brought forward by Malema's representatives to have his disciplinary hearing squashed.
Malema, an outspoken 30-year-old whose racially charged rhetoric has made him one of South Africa's most controversial figures, faces internal charges of "sowing divisions" in the ANC and bringing the ruling party into disrepute.
Five other top youth league officials are also charged in the hearings, widely seen as a battle for influence over the ANC ahead of party elections next year.
There has been a heavy police presence outside the ANC's Johannesburg headquarters after police clashed with Malema's supporters at the beginning of the hearing on Tuesady. A police officer and at least five journalists were injured.
© 2011 AFP