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Africa

ANC party expels combative youth leader Malema

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-02-29

South Africa's ruling ANC expelled youth leader Julius Malema from its ranks on Wednesday, saying he had divided the party and failed to follow rules. Malema is known for his controversial calls to nationalise mining and seize farms owned by Whites.

AFP - South Africa's ruling African National Congress Wednesday expelled fiery youth leader Julius Malema, finding he had shown no remorse after being convicted of fomenting divisions in the party.

"In respect of the present disciplinary hearing, Comrade Julius Malema is expelled from the ANC," the party disciplinary committee said in a statement.

Malema, 30, had initially been slapped with a five-year suspension, but returned before the committee in a bid to lessen his sentence.

He has 14 days to appeal his expulsion, although the ANC's appeals committee has already upheld his guilt.

Malema could decide to keep pressing his case through the rest of the year, up to an ANC leadership conference in December where he could ask the party's top brass to hear him out.

But the committee's findings were a damning indictment of Malema, who has stirred a national debate on class and poverty with his call to nationalise mines and seize white-owned farms to help the nearly 40 percent of the population living on less than two dollars a day.

Despite the breadth of the debate and the passions aroused by Malema, his conviction was based largely on charges that he had tarnished the party's reputation, created divisions within it and failed to follow its rules.

The committee said one of his statements, that the party had not won over the nation's youth, was "a threat and is tantamount to holding the ANC to ransom".

"The ANC constitution demands that discipline be enforced without exception," it said.

"The cumulative effect of comrade Malema's past and present offences, coupled with his own evidence of lack of remorse and disrespect for the ANC constitution and its structures... has left no room for the (disciplinary committee) to consider his misconduct as anything but extremely serious."

Malema was a key ally in President Jacob Zuma's rise to power, but has voiced disappointment with his policies and is seen as an obstacle to Zuma's re-election as party leader at the December conference.

The top party post will effectively ensure Zuma a second term in office.

Date created : 2012-02-29

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