African National Congress spokesman Jackson Mthembu. Gallo images
The decision to discipline the ANC Youth League's leadership had been "difficult" and "painful", the ANC said on Wednesday.
"It has been a difficult and painful decision to subject some of our comrades to a disciplinary process and the resultant sanctions... [but] this had to be done in the defence of the organisation and [in the] affirming of the ANC constitution," African National Congress spokesman Jackson Mthembu said.
He said the expulsion of ANCYL president Julius Malema from the party signalled the end of the disciplinary process.
"This outcome brings to finality a matter that has been underway for more than nine months. It is our view that the affected comrades will abide by the decision of the national disciplinary committee of appeals [NDCA]."
Mthembu said ANC members who previously had been subjected to the same processes and sanctions had learnt from their mistakes and had become better members.
"We believe the same is possible for comrades Julius Malema, [general secretary] Sindiso Magaqa and [spokesman] Floyd Shivambu."
The Limpopo ANC said on Wednesday Malema would no longer be able to serve on its provincial executive committee (PEC).
"We are aware of the decision [to uphold the expulsion]. As to the implications of that decision, there is only one ANC, and if a decision has been made [by the mother body] we have to abide," Limpopo ANC spokesman Makondelele Mathivha said.
Malema was elected to the Limpopo PEC at the branch's elective conference in December last year.
The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the Young Communist League of SA (YCLSA) both accepted the ANC's decision to uphold Malema's expulsion.
YCLSA spokesman Mangaliso Stalin Khonza said: "We respect other organisations that we are aligned to. We do not want to interfere in the affairs of our alliance partners."
Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said the union federation respected the decision, but declined to comment further.
Political party Azanian People's Organisation (Azapo) said it was not surprised at Malema's expulsion.
"Surely, Malema struck a sensitive cord in an organisation that refuses to live with contradictions. So, he had to go," Azapo spokesman Funani ka Ntontela said.
"We are convinced as Azapo that if things were to go the ANC's way, Malema would have long [ago] faced the firing squad. He is lucky that he can go home to take care of his cattle donated to him by [Zimbabwean President Robert] Mugabe."
He said South Africans should brace themselves for a "modernised version of dictatorship" from the ANC.
"This dictatorship will rely largely on the use of state machinery [rather] than laws and policies. This dictatorship may not have the typical [former Ugandan president] Idi Amin leadership, but a giggling president with a nice suit."
On Tuesday, the ANC's NDCA announced it had expelled Malema from the party. It also suspended Shivambu's membership for three years. Magaqa had his suspension reduced from three years to one year.
Malema was originally suspended, in November last year, for five years for sowing division in the party and for bringing it into disrepute. He was found to have done so by unfavourably comparing the leadership style of President Jacob Zuma to that of former president Thabo Mbeki, and for remarks on bringing about regime change in Botswana.
On February 29, the national disciplinary committee announced the sanction against him was being increased to expulsion. He again appealed and it was this appeal that the NDCA dismissed on Tuesday.