/ 5 November 2011

Final arguments scheduled in Malema hearing

Final Arguments Scheduled In Malema Hearing

The African National Congress (ANC) will hear closing arguments on Sunday in its disciplinary hearing against controversial party youth leader Julius Malema, it said on Saturday.

“Final arguments get presented tomorrow [Sunday] by both sides,” Derek Hanekom, chairperson of the disciplinary committee, told Agence France-Presse.

“We’ll call the members in later during the week and we’ll inform them what our ruling is.”

Hanekom said the committee will then hold a press conference to announce its ruling.

The final day of the hearing had been postponed twice.

Malema, an outspoken 30-year-old whose racially-charged rhetoric has made him one of South Africa’s most controversial figures, faces internal charges of “sowing divisions” in the ruling party and bringing it into disrepute.

His calls for the nationalisation of South Africa’s mines and the expropriation of white-owned land have earned him national notoriety and a devoted following among many poor blacks.

But it was his appeal for the overthrow of the democratically-elected government of neighbouring Botswana that landed him in hot water with the ANC.

Five other top youth league officials are also charged in the hearings, widely seen as a tug-of-war for influence over the ANC ahead of party elections next year.

Malema was found guilty of criticising President Jacob Zuma in another ANC disciplinary hearing last year and faces possible expulsion from the party if found guilty again. — AFP