2 Mar 2012

Malema expelled from ANC

5:55 am on 2 March 2012

South African youth leader Julius Malema has been expelled from the African National Congress.

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

Once a close ally of the president, Mr Malema, 30, is now one of his strongest critics.

Correspondents say the ANC's disciplinary committee changed Mr Malema's punishment from a five-year suspension to expulsion because he showed no remorse during the proceedings.

The BBC reports the expulsion means Mr Zuma, who became president in 2009, is now virtually assured of another term.

Mr Malema was found guilty in November of disrupting a national ANC meeting and of bringing the party into disrepute by calling for regime change in Botswana.

He was also found guilty of provoking serious divisions within the party by praising former president Thabo Mbeki who was sacked as party leader in 2008.

He has also outraged sections of South Africa's white community by frequently singing the song Shoot the Boer (white farmer).