No secret hearing for Malema
Cape Town - The ANC will announce a new venue for the disciplinary hearing against Julius Malema and four other youth league leaders later on Friday, spokesperson Keith Khoza said.
"We are just meeting now to finalise the decision," he said.
Khoza said the party had dropped plans to keep the location for the four-day hearing secret, because there was a risk supporters would then still protest outside Luthuli House in downtown Johannesburg.
"If we kept it secret they were still going to come here. It is going to be outside the CBD," he told Sapa.
The party would choose a venue outside the city's central business district to prevent a repeat of the violence that disrupted business activity when Malema first appeared before the panel last Tuesday.
"It is not that we are allowing protest, but we cannot wish it away either."
Protesters rampaged outside Luthuli House in support of Malema last week, pelting police and journalists with half-bricks and setting fire to T-shirts emblazoned with the face of President Jacob Zuma.
Downtown law firm BDK Attorneys said its clients were too scared to come into the area, and threatened legal action if the ANC failed to move the hearing from the party's headquarters.
Khoza said Malema would appear before the national disciplinary panel on Sunday and would probably be present on the remaining three days of the hearing as well.
He will answer four charges, including bringing the ANC into disrepute and dividing the party, and risks expulsion from its ranks.
ANCYL deputy president Ronald Lamola, secretary general Sindiso Magaqa, his deputy Kenetswe Mosenogi, and treasurer general Pule Mabe also face charges of compromising the party's reputation and of disrupting an ANC meeting.
Khoza said it was hard to speculate how long the six-member disciplinary panel, headed by Derek Hanekom, would need to deliberate.