South Africa’s police to investigate Malema


The youth wing of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress said it was fully behind its leader Julius Malema after allegations from his own party that he is bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing division in its ranks.

Malema could face suspension from the ANC if a disciplinery committee upholds the accusations, which were made on Friday.

Malema has come under fire over the youth wing’s calls for the overthrow of the democratically elected government of neighbouring Botswana.

Malema’s repeated calls to nationalise mines and seize white-owned land have also unnerved investors. He has no direct policy-making power but his ability to influence millions of poor South Africans puts him in an influential position.

The ANC Youth League said the accusations were political and it would request an urgent meeting with the party’s leaders to discuss the matters.

In a statement after its special National Executive Committee meeting, it said: “The ANC Youth League special NEC re-affirmed its total support for the leadership… and (is) convinced that the issues contained in the charges are political .”

The youth league said it will not back down from its calls for nationalisation.
“The special NEC re-affirmed the determination to fight tirelessly and fearlessly for economic freedom… particularly nationalisation of mines, expropriation without compensation and provision of free quality education for all,” it said.

Malema, 30, has also come under pressure from reports over his finances. South Africa’s special police investigation unit said on Saturday it would look into allegations of corruption and fraud against him.

Civil society group Afriforum has reported Malema to the police, repeating media allegations that he set up a trust fund into which businessmen and politicians paid thousands of rand in return for government contracts.