Malema disciplinary hearing adjourned to next weekend

3rd September 2011, Comments 0 comments

South Africa's ruling ANC has adjourned the disciplinary hearing against youth leader Julius Malema until next Sunday, it said in a statement Saturday.

The case had been set to resume on Monday after the ANC's national disciplinary committee on Friday turned down a bid to have it thrown out.

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 African National congress and bringing the party into disrepute.

The statement said that "arguments will be heard on 11 September 2011 and a finding handed down in due course."

Three days had been set aside for the completion of the hearing, said the statement. It justified the delay the "availability of parties to the hearing".

The charge of sowing divisions comes after media reports linking Malema to a movement to oust President Jacob Zuma as party leader.

Zuma is hoping to be re-elected at the party's polls next year that will allow him to stand for a second term as president in the country's national elections in 2014.

The youth league would like to see him replaced by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe -- a change that would almost certainly make Motlanthe South Africa's next leader.

Malema was found guilty of criticising Zuma in another ANC disciplinary hearing last year, and faces possible expulsion from the party if found guilty again.

The charge of bringing the ANC into disrepute stems from his call last month for regime change in neighbouring Botswana. Malema later apologised for the remarks after a public rebuke from the ANC.

Despite his political base among impoverished blacks, Malema has become known for enjoying the high life. He lives in the upmarket Johannesburg neighbourhood of Sandton, wears a Breitling watch and has a taste for fast cars.

His wealth became the subject of a police investigation after a local newspaper reported he was the beneficiary of a trust fund that allegedly received kickbacks from businesses that won valuable government tenders.

© 2011 AFP

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