The expulsion of Julius Malema from the African National Congress last night brought the political career of the embattled youth leader to a shuddering halt.
Following marathon discussions that went on until late into the night, Cyril Ramaphosa, the chairperson of the ANC’s National Disciplinary Committee of Appeal, announced the termination of the party’s relationship with its wayward youth leader.
The NDCA also confirmed the three-year suspension of ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambo and a one-year suspension of its secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa.
Following information from highly placed sources in the ANC, The New Age yesterday alerted the nation to the NDCA’s decision.
The prolonged discussions in the NDCA before the announcement that cast Malema into the political wilderness is also a clear indication that the party was determined to close all possible loopholes that may afford Malema an opportunity to successfully challenge its decisions in court. Malema has previously said that he will challenge the final decison by the NDCA.
Commenting on the delay in making public its decision, Ramaphosa said: “The NDCA finding has been sent to the legal representatives of the appellants and the NDCA is currently briefing the ANC’s secretary general, Comrade Gwede Mantashe.”
Since last year, the trio have been involved in a running battle with the leadership of its mother body and have been sanctioned for various acts of ill discipline.
Besides his appeal against the expulsion, Malema was also suspended from party and youth league activities after labelling President Jacob Zuma “a dictator”. His appeal against the suspension was also dismissed by the NDCA.
Malema’s woes are further compounded by investigations into his personal affairs by the Hawks and the taxman.
Together with Shivambu, he is also being sued by DA leader Helen Zille for defamation.
It is widely speculated that the expulsion of Malema paves the way for a bunfight to succeed him at the helm of the ANCYL.
In recent weeks, the cracks in the league have widened at provincial and national level with pro and anti Malema factions engaging in a no-holds-barred power struggle.
Front runners to succeed Malema are the league’s deputy president Ronald Lamola and treasurer-general Pule Mabe.
Analysts believe that Malema’s expulsion will also afford the ANC the opportunity to bring its wayward youth formation into line and to ensure that its preparations for its elective conference in Mangaung later this year proceed with minimal disruption.