South Africa's ruling African National Congress suspended youth leader Julius Malema for five years Thursday after he was found guilty of sowing divisions within the party and bringing the 99 year-old liberation movement into disrepute.
REUTERS - South Africa’s ruling African National Congress kicked its Youth League leader, Julius Malema, out of the party for five years on Thursday after finding him guilty of sowing division.
The decision by the ANC dealt a major blow to the political career of the outspoken youth leader and his push to nationalise mines in the world’s biggest platinum producer.
South African stocks extended gains after news of the suspension of Malema, 30, who has unnerved investors with his drive to nationalise mines. The rand also firmed slightly after the announcement.
Derek Hanekom, head of the ANC disciplinary panel, said Malema had been found guilty of sowing serious divisions in the party and of bringing the 99-year-old liberation movement into disrepute.
Suspension of Malema should also help pave the way for President Jacob Zuma to secure a second term as ANC leader—and hence the country’s president—at a party conference in a year.
But the unexpectedly harsh sentence imposed on Malema, a significant power broker in the ANC, could provoke an anti-Zuma backlash.
ANC insiders say Malema is part of a plot to replace Zuma with a leader more sympathetic to the Youth League’s desire to nationalise the mines and seize white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.
The party said Malema had the right to appeal to the ANC disciplinary body and any appeal had to be lodged within 14 days. He can also appeal the outcome to the ANC’s National Executive Committee -- headed by Zuma.
Date created : 2011-11-10