By Siphiwe Sibeko
TZANEEN, South Africa (Reuters) – South Africa’s ANC youth rebel Julius Malema upped the stakes in his political wrangling with the ruling party on Sunday, saying he would challenge in court its decision to expel him.
The African National Congress expelled Malema from the party in February for violating party rules, causing rifts in the group and bringing the movement into disrepute.
“I said I would not go to court, but now I have decided to do so,” Malema, the leader of ANC’s youth wing told thousands of supporters at a rally at Nkowankowa stadium in his home province of Limpopo, according to the South African Press Association.
“I need no mandate and act as an individual whose rights have been violated.”
Malema was joined on stage by his friend an ally, provincial premier Cassel Mathale, and South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.
The gathering of the three men could be seen as a direct challenge to President Jacob Zuma who faces a re-election race for the head of the ANC at the end of this year.
Several members of the crowd wore t-shirts bearing Motlanthe’s face and the slogan “Kgalema for President” although Motlanthe has asked his supporters not to idolise him.
The ANC also frowns upon open campaigning for party posts well ahead of the election. Read more…