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 members of the national disciplinary committee of appeal are currently hearing the case,” party spokesman Keith Khoza told AFP.
Furious at his expulsion on February 29, Malema accused President Jacob Zuma of “dictatorial” behaviour, prompting the party to issue a gag order and bar him from all ANC activities.
The case is seen as a test of Zuma’s authority within the ANC ahead of its q 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.
Khoza could not say when the closed-door proceedings would be concluded, but Malema, 31, has in any case vowed to challenge his expulsion in court if he loses the internal appeal.
Since being elected Youth League president in 2008, Malema has stirred controversy with racially charged rhetoric.
He has called for the 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.