SA stocks, rand cheer Malema suspension

2011-11-10 12:16

Johannesburg - The ANC kicked its youth league leader Julius Malema out of the party for five years on Thursday after finding him guilty of sowing division.

The ANC's decision dealt a major blow to the political career of the outspoken ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader and his push to nationalise mines in the world’s biggest platinum producer.

South African stocks extended gains after news of the suspension of Malema, who has unnerved investors with his drive to nationalise mines. The rand also firmed slightly after the announcenment.

Derek Hanekom, head of the ANC disciplinary panel, said Malema had been found guilty of sowing serious divisions in the party and of bringing the 99-year-old liberation movement into disrepute.

Suspension of Malema should also help pave the way for President Jacob Zuma to secure a second term as ANC leader - and hence the country’s president - at a party conference in a year.

But the unexpectedly harsh sentence imposed on Malema, a significant power broker in the ANC, could provoke an anti-Zuma backlash.

ANC insiders say Malema is part of a plot to replace Zuma with a leader more sympathetic to the ANCYL's desire to nationalise the mines and seize white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.

The party said Malema had the right to appeal to the ANC disciplinary body and any appeal had to be lodged within 14 days. He can also appeal the outcome to the ANC’s National Executive Committee - headed by Zuma.

Malema was writing a university exam on Thursday and was not immediately available for commment.

Said Christie Viljoen, economist at NKC Independent Economist: "Whatever they do with Malema, the big issues he has raised and what he represents won’t go away. The poverty, the inequalities and the unemployment continue.

"He’s not necessarily going to lie down, he’s going to continue being vocal and somebody else will probably step up to take his place at the youth league.

"We will have to see if there's an appeal; who knows what could happen. I can’t see he is going to be quiet.

"The problem now is that he motivated himself as somebody who stands for the poor and now the ruling party is saying: we don’t like you any more so the issue of poverty will be raised more and more."

Political commentator on eNews Channel Karima Brown said: "Julius Malema has lost the presidency of the ANCYL. That is the most important ramification of what (disciplinary hearing chairperson) Derek Hanekom has just said.

"The larger story is that the youth league leadership is in crisis.

"Mr Malema has had a date with history today and he is finished in the ANC and ANCYL."

Independent political analyst Nic Borain said: "This is obviously good for the ANC - for its image, for its internal coherence and for the reputation of its leadership.

"The loutish and grandiose behaviour of the ANC Youth League and the individual leaders’ involvement in looting the public sector behind a facade of representing the interest of the poorest and most marginalised has deeply damaged the reputation and core values of the ANC.

“Much will depend on whether the leadership has the stomach and spine to follow the disciplinary process with a thorough implementation of the sentence throughout all forums of the organisation. We shouldn’t forget that important individuals and constituencies have backed Malema through this process.

“Will the sentence provoke a backlash, attempting to build opposition by portraying Malema as a victim? It is obviously possible, but most observers are hoping that the grave tones and thorough approach of the ANC Disciplinary Committee might presage a process of repair and renewal in the ruling party.”

Said Anne Fruhauf, Africa analyst at Eurasia Group: “The ruling doesn’t directly tackle the nationalisation issue. But it will be viewed as a signal that the most vocal proponent of nationalisation has been cut down to size.

"The youth league doesn’t dictate policy, but Malema's tireless lobbying within the party and on the streets has caused great anxiety among investors.

“In our view, the nationalisation debate will become a little more muted if Malema’s influence wanes. But one thing is clear: nationalisation is not off the agenda and will feature at the ANC’s 2012 policy conference.

“We still don’t expect the ANC to endorse anything like the youth league’s demand for 60% state equity and constitutional amendments to expropriation clauses. But there seems to be clear consensus around the need for more redistribution.

“This won’t be a worst-case outcome, but this is not good news for investors, because many already consider the current policy regime to be onerous.

“The succession battles have been so bitter that they will leave the ANC even more divided. The run-up to Mangaung won’t be plain sailing for Zuma, especially if Malema can drag out the looming appeal against his sentence and refuses to relinquish his leadership of the youth league.” 

  • IanJ - 2011-11-10 12:31

    This isn't the end of Malema, suspension upheld or appealed.

      alansmart223 - 2011-11-11 22:37

      @ ianJ.. No, you'r probably right.. but it's a beautiful right to the jaw. He's staggering around now. The Hawks will smack him on jaw, the Public protector will kick him in the teeth and finally SARS will give him the knockout punch. In a years time he will be a "has been" as his followers see how he has been misleading them.

  • 100003064479469 - 2011-11-10 12:32

    Hardly a cheer at R8/$!

  • 100001537126598 - 2011-11-10 12:41

    Hopefully that is the end of the despot, he is contibuting greatly to wrecking this country and it's economy, if there is an appeal it must be done quickly and his sentence doubled.

  • i.see.a.cupcake - 2011-11-10 12:56

    lol, yes it went up 45c no cheers at all

      100003067428713 - 2011-11-10 13:04

      Guys the biggest surprise is yet to come...Inside info tells me that the Hawks will lay a criminal charge against Malema tomorrow.

  • Grace - 2011-11-10 13:03

    I'm not holding my breath........of course he will appeal and we'll just have more and more of him in the news.

  • Ingie - 2011-11-10 13:06

    He will be paid until his does this work!!! makes no sense and then after 5 years he will no longer be classified as a "youth"...

      Mebob - 2011-11-10 13:17

      He hasn't been fired. If you are suspended, you still get paid. That is how suspension in any work place works.The problem is that he will still get paid until he is dismissed from the post after the appeal hearing, should he be granted one.He will still be the force behind the youth league, no matter who they appoint.

  • jiksaw - 2011-11-10 13:06

    The media is going to suffer a great loss. Who will make the news ?

      100003071836622 - 2011-11-10 13:20

      Yes indeed jiksaw. Maybe we can now focus on news that would assist us in growing this economy. We so desperately need investment in this country, but his suspension alone isn't enough to lure investors. He should have been expelled and something needs to be done about the corruption. But let us a united South Africa be thankful he isn't scaring foreign investors any longer with the uneducated drivel the spews everyday!

  • 100003056959991 - 2011-11-10 13:14

    At last. Another (radical) party will now be formed.

  • Dan Steel - 2011-11-10 13:20

    I hope Christie Viljoen realises that Malema does not care about the poor or inequalities - he is just using a big and receptive constituency to give him the power to loot all kinds of funding and live like a king on ill gotten gains. Most reasonable people worry about poverty and unemployment - but nationalising big business, invading farm land and the rest of the dribble this man sprouted, will only ensure that everybody in the country (except him and his cronies of course) become very poor, although quite equal.

  • 100003061771205 - 2011-11-10 13:42

    What goes around comes around,remember what he did to poor Mbeki!

  • pizzazz - 2011-11-10 13:44

    During a 1956 speech for his campaign of de-Stalinization, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was asked by an unseen audience member why, as an advisor to the dictator, he had never stopped Stalin from committing his atrocities. Khrushchev immediately lashed out, “Who said that?” The room grew quiet. Khrushchev repeated his query to more silence, waited a beat, and then said, “Well, now you understand why.”

  • heinrich.a.felix - 2011-11-10 14:13

    where will Trevor Noah get the jokes from now?

  • Thabang - 2011-11-10 14:26

    jah , we just have to wait and see .... coz this guy wont back down as he said he'll stay even if suspended or expelled !!!

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