ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has been expelled from the ANC.
This comes after the party’s prosecutors argued successfully for his five-year suspension to be aggravated, while Malema pleaded for mitigation.
This brings Malema’s eventful political career closer to the abyss.
Malema can now only be saved by the party’s national disciplinary committee of appeal (NDCA), who can overturn the expulsion. If he fails here, the ANC’s national executive committee can review the verdict and expulsion.
His last resort is the partyâ€™s national conference in December that can review any decision by a structure of the party.
Malema was in his hometown Seshego when the party’s national disciplinary committee (NDC) decided on the final verdict, and informed party prosecutors as well as ANC officials about it.
The process took all afternoon on Wednesday and lasted into the early evening.
Malemaâ€™s lawyer, Advocate Dali Mpofu, said due to short notice neither him, nor Advocate Patric Mtshaulana or Malema could be at Luthuli House for the announcement.
It is likely that Malema would, in his appeal to the NDCA, argue that he was given too short notice about todayâ€™s decision.
It has been ten days since arguments in mitigation of sentencing were concluded before the NDC, which said in a statement just before 08:00 on Wednesday that it would announce the verdict in the â€œlate afternoonâ€ after applying its â€œcollective mindâ€.
Mpofu earlier on Wednesday told City Press that he was due to meet with the ANCâ€™s NDC at 15:00, but later said he couldnâ€™t make it.
The league said in a statement shortly after lunch that it won’t be commenting on the announcement of Malemaâ€™s fate.
League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said in a statement that the leagueâ€™s leadership â€œwill not take any media enquiry to respond to the outcomes of the ANC disciplinary processâ€.
In November, when the NDC announced its original verdict, Malema was absent too and writing exams in Polokwane, but his lawyers went to Luthuli House to receive the verdict on his behalf.
The young firebrand is likely to appeal the NDC’s decision on his sentence to the NDCA.
He cannot appeal the verdict again, as the appeal committee has already decided on that.
Following that, he could still approach the partyâ€™s NEC, and finally the conference in December in Mangaung, to ask for reinstatement as an ANC member and a scrapping of the verdict.
This would only happen if he has enough sympathisers amongst the ANC’s leadership structures or amongst delegates at the Mangaung conference.
If he follows the latter route of asking the NEC or conference to review the disciplinary committeeâ€™s decision, the ANCYL might be required to call another conference again to re-elect Malema before he could be reinstated as its leader.
Earlier this month Malema asked for his five-year suspension from the party, for sowing division in its ranks, to be reduced, while Shivambu asked for a reduction of his three-year suspension, for swearing at a journalist, and Magaqa asked for mitigation of his suspended sentence, for defaming Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.