Julius Malema: ANC expels fiery youth leader

Julius Malema. File photo Julius Malema is a hugely divisive figure in South Africa after a series of controversial statements

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South Africa's governing African National Congress (ANC) has expelled its controversial youth leader Julius Malema, who was appealing against his five-year suspension from the party.

The ANC's disciplinary committee found him guilty of fomenting divisions and bringing the party into disrepute.

Once a close ally of President Jacob Zuma, Mr Malema is currently one of his strongest critics.

The 30-year-old now has 14 days to appeal against the decision.

"In respect of the present disciplinary hearing, Comrade Julius Malema is expelled from the ANC," the disciplinary committee said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Mr Malema says he is being persecuted for advocating that the party should adopt a policy to nationalise mines, and replace Mr Zuma as the ANC leader.

But his combative, populist style had angered many in the party, correspondents say.

He has indicated in the past that he would appeal, if he was expelled.

Mr Malema was handed a five-year suspension in November after being found guilty of three of the charges against him - including bringing the party into disrepute by calling for regime change in Botswana - a position which contravenes party and government policy.

His Youth League had said its members would have no comment on the announcement, according to the Associated Press news agency.

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