Youth leader Malema appeals expulsion from S.Africa’s ANC
South Africa's firebrand youth leader Julius Malema on Thursday appealed his expulsion from the ruling African National Congress, which found him guilty of sowing divisions within the party.
The panel gave Malema six days to submit written arguments in his appeal, giving the party another two days to respond, according to a statement from Cyril Ramaphosa, a top party official presiding over the appeal.
“Once a decision is taken, a public announcement will be made in line with the directives of the ANC constitution,” Ramaphosa said.
Malema has greeted his expulsion on February 29 with his usual defiance, accusing President Jacob Zuma of “dictatorial” behaviour, prompting the party to issue a gag order and bar him from all ANC activities.
He also ignored that order, appearing last weekend at Easter services for the ANC.
Malema, 31, has already vowed to challenge his expulsion in court if he loses the internal appeal.
The case is seen as a test of Zuma’s authority within the ANC ahead of its December conference at which he will seek another five years as party leader.
Given the ANC’s huge voter support, retaining the party leadership would virtually guarantee him a second term as South Africa’s president.
Since being elected Youth League president in 2008, Malema has stirred controversy with racially charged rhetoric.
He has called for the nationalisation of mines and the seizure of white-owned farms.
Last year a court found Malema guilty of hate speech for singing a song whose lyrics mean “shoot the farmer”, referring to Afrikaners descended from the first Dutch settlers in South Africa.