Malema hearing postponed for a week
Johannesburg - The disciplinary hearing of firebrand ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has been postponed from Monday to the following week so that all the relevant parties can attend, the movement said on Saturday.
Malema, 30, on Friday lost his bid to have the charges against him quashed and, if found guilty of bringing the ANC into disrepute, faces suspension and even possible expulsion from the party.
The country's most vocal proponent of the nationalisation of mines in the world's leading producer of platinum faces disciplinary charges together with five members of the league's top executive. Each will appear before the committee separately.
"The disciplinary hearing of comrade Julius Malema will ... resume on Sunday, 11 September 2011," read the statement.
"The postponement was as a result of the availability of parties to the hearing."
President Jacob Zuma's ruling party instituted a disciplinary hearing against him - proceedings that are widely seen as a showdown between Malema and Zuma.
Malema, who has galvanised the country's poor black majority with his calls for a state takeover of mines and white-owned farms, is seen as a potential future ANC leader. If he is exonerated, Zuma could be fighting for his political survival.
At the start of the hearing on Tuesday, hundreds of Malema supporters clashed with police outside the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg's inner city.
Gone too far
He once said he would "kill" for Zuma but has regularly criticised the president's leadership in recent months.
Analysts say he may have gone too far, and pushed the ANC to take action against him, when his Youth League embarrassed the government by calling for the overthrow of the elected government of ally and neighbour Botswana.
Investors are watching the hearings closely and would welcome any signs that Malema would be expelled or suspended from the party for a couple of years, which could silence the main driver of nationalisation.
Economists have said nationalisation would bankrupt the state - it would cost about twice the annual national budget to buy out the mining firms listed on the Johannesburg bourse.