South Africa: Malema loses appeal against ANC expulsion

Now-expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema during a meeting in Pretoria on 10 February 2012 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Malema helped President Zuma win power but his fiery rhetoric later saw him fall out of favour

Firebrand youth leader Julius Malema has lost his appeal against expulsion from South Africa's ruling ANC, the party says.

The appeals committee announced in a statement that Mr Malema's appeal had failed.

He was previously found guilty of fomenting divisions and bringing the party into disrepute.

He was banned from party activities in April after calling his former ally President Jacob Zuma a "dictator".

"In respect of the present disciplinary hearing, the [ANC's National Disciplinary Committee of Appeal] confirms the sanction imposed by the [National Disciplinary Committee] that the appellant be expelled from the ANC," the statement reportedly said.

Mr Malema, 31, was suspended 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.

He was then expelled when he tried to appeal against his five-year suspension.

Mr Malema was elected president of the ANC Youth League in 2008 and played a key role in President Zuma's ascent to power in the 2009 election.

He is adored by supporters for articulating the rage and frustration of South Africa's poor, marginalised black community, correspondents say.

But his rabble-rousing landed him a conviction for hate speech and two ANC disciplinary hearings.

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