ANC youth wing says Zuma forced youth leader’s expulsion
The youth wing of South Africa's ANC on Friday accused President Jacob Zuma of forcing the expulsion of its disgraced chief Julius Malema from the ruling party.
The radical youth leader, 31, filed an appeal after being booted out from the African National Congress (ANC) this week but the youth league claimed Zuma had announced the explusion of his nemesis before the matter was heard.
“As a President of the ANC and country, President Zuma is unduly influencing the members of the (appeals committee) to come to a conclusion which he has already announced publicly,” it said in a statement.
Malema was expelled this month by the ANC’s disciplinary committee, which found him guilty last year of bringing the party into disrepute and sowing divisions with negative comments on Zuma.
Speaking on Friday in Port Elizabeth, Zuma said the youth league would have to move forward. “It will have to have a new president that will be able to move the organisation forward, I don’t think it’s a crisis,” the Sapa news agency quoted him as saying.
The pair were once close allies but Malema is now seen as a threat to Zuma’s re-election as ANC leader in December at a conference that, given the party’s strength, will effectively hand him another term in office.
The league claims the sanctions were to settle political scores and stifle political dissent and said it was “terrified and totally shocked” by Zuma’s words.
Malema may also bring the dispute to the ANC’s national executive or the party conference at the end of the year.