SA left in dark on Malema's appeal

2012-01-24 18:07
Johannesburg – The ANC kept a strict silence on Tuesday around embattled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema's appeal of his suspension from the party, as hearings entered a second day.

The panel met until nearly midnight for the first day of the appeal on Monday, with the hearings expected to wrap up by Wednesday, Talk Radio 702 reported.

But it was unclear how long the panel of top ANC brass would take to deliberate on Malema's five-year suspension, imposed over his fiery rhetoric that a disciplinary panel ruled had damaged the party's reputation.

Malema's lawyers argued on Monday that he and five of his co-accused were not allowed to seek mitigation of their sentence, and said that some disciplinary committee members should have recused themselves from the process, the radio report said.

In November Malema was found guilty of sowing divisions within the ANC, misconduct and bringing the party into disrepute, following weeks of hearings that were marred by violent protests.

This time few protesters were seen outside the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg. The ANC's refusal to comment on the proceedings also helped keep the story off the front pages on Tuesday.

The appeal committee includes senior party leaders such as businessman Cyril Ramaphosa, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe and National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel - none of whom have commented on the case.

Malema, 30, would like to see his five-year suspension from the party overturned. If the appeals committee upholds his sentence, Malema will be too old to return to youth politics when his suspension period expires.

But he remains in his position until he has exhausted his appeals, which he could take up to the ANC leadership conference in December, where President Jacob Zuma will seek another term as the party’s president.
Read more on:    anc  |  ancyl  |  julius malema  |  johannesburg  |  politics

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