Malema appeal gets under way
Johannesburg - The appeal hearings of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema and his spokesperson Floyd Shivambu started in Johannesburg on Thursday.
African National Congress spokesperson Keith Khoza said the ANC's national disciplinary committee of appeal, which is chaired by Cyril Ramaphosa, was sitting at the party's headquarters at Luthuli House.
On Thursday, unnamed sources told the SABC that Malema's lawyers would not attend the proceedings because they had not received key documents relating to the national disciplinary committee's previous sitting.
This would allow Malema and Shivambu to ask for a postponement, the public broadcaster reported.
Khoza said he could not confirm the report
"They [the appeals committee] are still sitting... I don't know where the speculation is coming from," he said.
ANCYL spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy said she could not comment on the appeal proceedings.
Malema has been expelled from the ANC for sowing division in the party and for bringing it into disrepute.
He was found to have done so by unfavourably comparing the leadership style of President Jacob Zuma to that of former president Thabo Mbeki and for remarks about bringing about regime change in Botswana.
He remains ANCYL president until all options to overturn his sentence have been exhausted.
Shivambu was also found guilty of sowing division and bringing the ANC into disrepute.
He was suspended from the ANC for three years for swearing at a journalist and for issuing a statement calling for a change of government in Botswana.
Malema was delivered another blow last week when the ANC's national disciplinary committee suspended him for calling Zuma a dictator.
The conditions of the suspension prohibit him from exercising any duty as an ANC member, president of the ANCYL or member of the Limpopo provincial executive committee.
The two disciplinary proceedings are separate.
The ANCYL has remained defiant, with provincial leaders insisting that Malema will remain its president.
Should Malema's appeal fail, he can ask the ANC's national executive committee to review the matter.
Last month, Malema said he would seek redress in the courts if he was expelled. Until then he had consistently rejected the idea of taking legal action against the ANC.
ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said the party frowned on its members taking it to court.
"We are against anyone who takes the ANC to court because we do have a constitution in the ANC and we abide by the constitution," he said.