No word on ANCYL appeals as deadline looms
Johannesburg - Neither the ruling party nor the ANC Youth League would officially confirm on Thursday that five youth leaders have met the midnight deadline to appeal their suspensions.
"We're not speaking to the media about the process," said league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu on Thursday evening.
"We don't speak to you about it... until [the process] is completed," he said, before cutting the call.
Earlier in the evening, ANCYL president Julius Malema delivered a lecture in Bloemfontein, where he criticised the leaders of the ruling party, but did not say whether his appeal had been lodged.
Malema told the Free State audience: "We are going to be suspended. We do not care. We are not about to be sell outs. We are ready for anything."
The deadline to appeal ends midnight on Thursday. If the leaders do not appeal, they remain suspended.
By 20:40, ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza could not confirm unsourced media reports that the appeal had been lodged.
ANCYL Free State secretary Lebogang Mogoera told Sapa that he had understood that the suspensions had been appealed, but seemed unsure when told that the ruling party could not confirm this.
Malema, Shivambu, deputy president Ronald Lamola, treasurer general Pule Mabe, secretary general Sindiso Magaqa and deputy secretary general Kenetswe Mosenogi were found guilty and sanctioned by the ANC's national disciplinary committee (NDC) two weeks ago.
Magaqa referred all queries about the appeal to Shivambu.
Malema was given a five-year suspension and was told to vacate his position as president, and Shivambu was suspended for three years and was also told to vacate his post.
The ANC membership of the other four leaders was suspended for two years, with the sanction itself suspended for three years.
They were expected to argue that the ANCYL was independent of the ANC and that the NDC had relied on the league's "old" constitution when it handed down its sentences.