A Reuters report has revealed that ANC youth leader Julius Malema, is in trouble for singing banned apartheid-era songs, was expected to plead guilty at a disciplinary hearing of bringing South Africa’s ruling party into disrepute, local media said. The youth leader has defied calls from South African President Jacob Zuma to cease making inflammatory comments and earned a rebuke last month from Zuma for supporting Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his controversial land reform policies, under which white-owned farms have been given to black Zimbabweans.
While Malema’s Youth League has denied knowledge of any disciplinary action, the ruling party has asked for “privacy” to deal with its internal matters. Deputy science minister Derek Hanekom, who heads the African National Congress’ internal disciplinary committee, is expected to chair the hearing. Malema, whose inflammatory rhetoric has unnerved foreign investors and many white South Africans, was likely to plead guilty.
The controversial youth leader has no policy-making role but has become prominent through his racial rhetoric and has a loyal following within the ANC Youth League and among some black South Africans who feel the end of apartheid should have delivered more. The findings of the committee are likely to be presented to the ANC’s National Executive Committee in two weeks’ time. The ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu is reported to have said “This is an internal ANC matter between the disciplinary committee and the ANC member concerned. We have no comment.”
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