Johannesburg - The ANC on Friday charged controversial youth
leader Julius Malema with "sowing divisions" in its ranks and
bringing the party into disrepute.
Malema, president of the ANC Youth League, has been under
fire over the youth wing's calls for the overthrow of the democratically
elected government of neighbouring Botswana.
The ANC's disciplinary committee said Malema has been
charged with violating the principles of the party.
"Comrade Julius Malema has been charged with various
violations of the ANC Constitution, including bringing the ANC into disrepute
through his utterances and statements on Botswana and sowing divisions in the
ranks of the African National Congress," the party said in a statement.
Malema's repeated calls to nationalise mines and seize
white-owned land has unnerved investors but he has become a hero among poor
blacks who make up the majority of the country and envision him as a future
leader of South Africa.
He has been under pressure in recent weeks due to a series
of media reports over his finances and the ANC ripping into the Youth League
over its comments on Botswana.
The Youth League apologised to the ANC over Botswana.
Malema has no direct policymaking power in the ANC but
his ability to influence millions of poor people puts him in an influential position,
with senior leaders - including President Jacob Zuma - seeking his support ahead of
an ANC meeting next year when the party elects its leaders.
It was also reported on Friday that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela plans a probe into the possible illegal awarding of government contracts
to a firm linked to Malema.
Madonsela will look into whether
On-Point Engineering, the firm linked to Malema, was able to win contracts through
political power, local media reported on Friday.
"(The public protector) will investigate the conduct
within the state entities that led to the awarding of the tenders,"
spokesperson Kgalelelo Masibi told Sapa news agency.
Masibi and the Youth League were not immediately available