Julius Malema was expelled from the African National Congress, South Africa's ruling political party. The controversial and polarizing Malema, who was the president of the ANC's Youth League, was kicked out of the organization that brought him fame for indiscipline.
Comrade Malema is a repeat offender. He has shown no remorse, the party's National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) said in a statement.
The cumulative effect of comrade Malema’s past and present offenses... has left no room for the NDC to consider his misconduct as anything but extremely serious.
Malema was suspended last year for sowing division within party ranks. It was his inability to accept the suspension and the charges that led to his expulsion. After receiving his five-year suspension in November, Malema threatened to turn the Youth League against the ANC
Malema will have two weeks to appeal his expulsion if he so chooses.
I think it will be the end of his political career, at least for the foreseeable future, Dirk Kotze, political scientist at the University of South Africa in Pretoria, told The Telegraph.
Malema without the ANC is nothing... The tradition and the history of the ANC, he needs that in order to be able to make his point. Without that he's very much isolated.
However, Melama's cult of personality may not fade quickly. The fiery and unreserved activist still has a huge following, mostly from poor, black youths as South Africa continues to struggle against racial and economic injistices. As the head of the youth organization, Malema was able to use the ANC's anti-apartheid history to win support and to bring racial tensions to the fore once again. And those issues are not going away.
You can feel the racial divide every second of every day, said Jason Musselman, an American who ran a photography program for AIDS orphans outside of Cape Town. Everyone talks about it openly. There is still economic apartheid in the Cape Town area and it's almost impossible for people to climb out.
As proof of the firebrand's sway in South Africa, hundreds of people gathered near Malema's hometown of Sheshego on Thursday, leading to violent clashes between pro- and anti-Malema protestors -- the two sides even shot at each other, according to the AFP.
Malema's expulsion is dividing the ANC itself, at least momentarily, and party representatives from Malema's home province of Limpopo said they will fight the decision until the very end, according to South Africa's News24.
We are not intimidated, but we are actually fired up. We will continue to fight... They can even call for a mass factional expulsion; we are not going to retreat, Rudzani Ludere, the ANC Youth League treasurer in Limpopo told the paper.
If it means the youth league will be disbanded, let it be, provincial secretary Jacob Lebogo said. President Malema remains president of the [Youth League]... We are not here to play, we are running an organization. We are not going to compromise the revolution.
The combative Malema is also preparing for a fight.
“It is still early to celebrate because the road ahead of us is going to be very long and needs men and women who are very strong,” he told South African news agency SAPA. “I’m not a soldier who is prepared to fall in battle. I will die with my boots on. I will die for what I believe in.”