The former leader of the African National Congress’s Youth League, Julius Malema, is officially on the outs as the leadership of the African National Congress rejected his second attempt to sidestep a five-year suspension received for sowing divisions.
Although analysts say the sentence is likely to stick, Malema plans to continue fighting the decision for months to come. "We must accept that this is the decision, but that is not the end of the road," Malema told the South African Broadcasting Corporation. "If you are weak, you are going to fall in the process. I'm not a soldier who is prepared to fall in the battle. I will die with my boots on. I will die for what I believe in."
In November, the African National Congress's disciplinary committee charged Malema, 30, with bringing the party into disrepute and sowing division, stemming from both his involvement in supporting the overthrow of the government of neighboring Botswana and his public criticism of current South African president and ANC leader Jacob Zuma. He was sentenced to a five-year suspension from the organization.
Although Malema has already appealed the decision and attempted to mitigate the five-year suspension term, he could still ask the ANC's national executive committee to review the matter. After that, if rejected again, he could potentially make a bold attempt at taking the issue to the floor of the party’s next national conference in December — a first in the ANC’s 100-year old history.
After the decision was announced on Wednesday, Malema’s supporters clashed with his rivals in his hometown. Shots rang out as anti-Malema protesters brandished signs saying "RIP Julius" and "Corrupt Dictator" on the street, Al-Jazeera reported.
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