S.Africa's ANC suspends Malema for five years

Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:42pm GMT

By Jon Herskovitz and Marius Bosch

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's ruling ANC kicked out its firebrand Youth League leader, Julius Malema, from the party for five years on Thursday after finding him guilty of dividing and bringing the 99-year-old liberation movement into disrepute.

The decision to send him into the political wilderness dealt a major blow to the career of Malema, whose push to nationalise mines in the world's biggest platinum producer has unnerved investors.

Derek Hanekom, head of the African National Congress disciplinary panel, said Malema had been found guilty of causing divisions in the party.

"Ill-discipline is not a cure for frustration," Hanekom told a news conference, with committee members saying it was one of the harshest punishments handed down to a party member.

"(His) careless, negligent or reckless pronouncements and utterances were a deviation of established and ongoing ANC policy and had the effect of embarrassing and bringing the organisation into disrepute within and beyond the borders of South Africa," Hanekom said.

South African stocks extended gains after news of the suspension of Malema, 30. The rand also firmed slightly after the announcement.

Malema told a rally in his home base to the north of Johannesburg that he would appeal and the ANC should brace itself for a bruising battle.

"We won't apologise. The gloves are off. Let us confront them because their intention is very clear. They want to destroy the ANC Youth League," Malema told supporters at a university campus in Polokwane, 320 km (200 miles) north of Johannesburg, City Press reported.   Continued...

African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) leader Julius Malema addresses his supporters during a march in Johannesburg October 27, 2011. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
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