Malema says ANC expulsion 'not end of road'


CONTROVERSIAL SOUTH African politician Julius Malema has remained defiant in the wake of his expulsion from the African National Congress, saying the ruling party “remains my home”.

The former ANC youth league leader was axed from Africa’s oldest liberation movement on Wednesday at the end of his appeal against a five-year suspension handed down by the ANC’s disciplinary committee.

“We must accept the decision,” Mr Malema told supporters outside his grandmother’s home in Seshego, Limpopo province, after hearing the verdict, “but that is not the end of the road. It is still early to celebrate. The road ahead of us is very long.”

Mr Malema was charged by the ANC in mid-2011 for sowing divisions in the ruling party, and calling for regime change in Botswana. He and four other youth league leaders were suspended in October following a lengthy hearing. But he was given leave to appeal the severity of the sentence by the disciplinary committee.

During this appeal, prosecutors called for Mr Malema to be expelled from the party, arguing he had shown no remorse and had continued to sow divisions.

There has been much public debate about what prompted the ANC to charge Mr Malema seven months ago, when prior to that he went unsanctioned despite making numerous inflammatory remarks about nationalisation and white South Africans.

Mr Malema played a key role in South African president Jacob Zuma’s ascent to power in 2009.

However, in recent years the 30-year-old has become an outspoken critic of his former ally, repeatedly calling for him to be replaced as ANC president.

His supporters argue that his suspension was politically motivated by a faction within the ruling party that wants to increase Mr Zuma’s chances of securing a second term as party president at the ANC’s elective conference in December.