Quiet outside ANC's Luthuli House
Johannesburg - The ANC's Luthuli House in Johannesburg was quiet on Wednesday ahead of a long-awaited announcement on the fate of ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.
Three policemen were stationed outside the door, but the streets around the building remained open to traffic.
There was no sign of Malema supporters by 15:00.
Media were ordered not to stand near the building and directed to move across the road. Parked at the corner of Sauer Street was a police van and a Nyala police vehicle.
The African National Congress's national disciplinary committee was to release the outcome of a mitigation hearing for Malema and others by statement later in the afternoon.
The party's committee of appeal has upheld the conviction of Malema and five ANCYL officials for bringing the party into disrepute and sowing divisions.
Malema was suspended for five years. league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, deputy president Ronald Lamola, treasurer general Pule Mabe, secretary general Sindiso Magaqa and deputy secretary general Kenetswe Mosenogi were also suspended for periods ranging from 18 months to three years.
Their appeal against their convictions was dismissed, but they were granted leave to present evidence in mitigation.
The sentences were suspended pending the outcome of the hearing.
The ANC Youth League said on Wednesday afternoon it would not comment on the outcome of mitigation hearings.
"Members of the media and all South Africans are advised that the leadership will not take any media enquiry to respond to the outcomes of the ANC disciplinary process," said spokesman Floyd Shivambu in a brief statement.
The ANC's national disciplinary committee chairman Derek Hanekom said in the morning that the panel had applied its "collective mind" and would pronounce on the verdict in the late afternoon.
"Having said we will inform the public of our decision, we will be releasing a statement in the late afternoon today [Wednesday]... after informing all the parties involved and the organisation on the matter, as informed by our constitution," he said.