South Africa’s ANC Ousts Controversial Youth Leader

Posted November 10th, 2011 at 11:00 am (UTC-5)
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South Africa's ruling party has fired the controversial leader of its youth league after finding him guilty of sowing division and damaging the party's reputation.

The African National Congress also handed Julius Malema a five-year suspension during a disciplinary hearing in Johannesburg on Thursday.

The chairman of the disciplinary panel, Derek Hanekom, said the 30-year-old Malema has been “ill-disciplined” and has shown “arrogance and defiance.”

Since becoming the ANC's youth leader three years ago, Malema has often made headlines with fiery rhetoric and policy demands.

He called for the nationalization of South African mines — a stance at odds with ANC policy. And he called for “regime change” in Botswana, South Africa's democratic neighbor and ANC ally.

This year, a court found him guilty of hate speech for singing a banned anti-apartheid song with lyrics that can be interpreted as “shoot the white farmer.”

Malema has also suggested that former President Thabo Mbeki is a better leader than current President Jacob Zuma, a one-time Malema ally.

Malema said Thursday that he will appeal the ANC's ruling.

A spokesman says Malema will remain on the payroll of South Africa's ruling party, pending the outcome of his appeal.