South Africa - Malema to appeal ANC decision to suspend him


South African political rebel Julius Malema will appeal a decision to suspend him from the ruling ANC, saying he is being persecuted for his calls to nationalise mines and seize white-owned farm land, his Youth League said on Monday.
The African National Congress last week decided to expel Malema, the leader of its youth wing, for violating party rules, causing rifts in the group and bringing the movement into disrepute.

Members of the influential Youth League shot back at their parent organisation on Monday, in a widening rift between party head President Jacob Zuma and the more radical youth movement.
"The ANC Youth League will never agree that its leadership be subjected to unfair and unjust treatment or banished for narrow political purposes," its said in a statement read at a news conference by its deputy president, Ronald Lamola.
Malema, dressed in a T-shirt, sunglasses and what his league describes as a "revolutionary beret", was present but kept silent through the briefing.
Malema, one of the party's best orators whose calls for radical transformation of Africa's biggest economy resonated with poor blacks, has increasingly criticised Zuma.
His removal would help clear a path for Zuma to win a second term as ANC leader in party elections later this year. It would also silence a vocal advocate of taking over mines in the resource-rich country.
The ANC brought disciplinary charges against Malema seven months ago and has allowed him to stay in his post until all his appeals have been exhausted.
Following the charges, Malema ratcheted up his criticism of Zuma and mocked him at public rallies. The ANC retaliated by turning its original sentence of a five-year suspension into expulsion from the party.
Zuma has reminded the Youth League it is subservient to the ANC but Malema has vowed to stay on, saying only the Youth League has the power to change its leaders.
Malema has also likely lost the backing of many powerful members of the ANC who have been using him to voice opposition to Zuma while they have been lining up their own bids for power.
Analysts do not expect Malema, 31, to pose much of a threat to the ANC if he is expelled because he will lack the finances and network of the party that dominates the country's politics.
Malema, who has a penchant for fancy cars and champagne-drenched parties, is also facing a police investigation into his finances.
REUTERS

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