Crunch time for Julius Malema
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema will today know whether the ANC will drop charges against him for bringing the party into disrepute.
At 9am, Malema and his legal team will anxiously await the verdict of the ANC's disciplinary committee on whether their submissions that all charges against Malema be withdrawn has been successful.
Malema had two gruelling days on Tuesday and Wednesday when confronted with several charges about public statements he made, which the ruling party contends dented its image and sowed internal division.
Malema's lawyers made extensive and detailed submissions in which they asked that all charges be dropped.
The disciplinary committee, headed by chairman Derek Hanekom, adjourned on Wednesday to deliberate the issues raised by both parties and will give its verdict today.
Malema is charged, with others, for his July comment in which he called for the overthrowing of the Botswana government and for the league to establish a "command team" to work towards a united opposition against the "puppet regime" of President Ian Khama.
The ANC also charged him for labelling whites "criminals" during a pre-election rally in Kimberley in May, when he said: "We must take the land without paying. They took our land without paying. Once we agree they stole our land, we can agree they are criminals and must be treated as such."
Though each side has scored a first-round win, today's outcome could go either way.
Round one went to the ANC when the committee ruled against Malema, who asked that Susan Shabangu, Collins Chabane and Hanekom recuse themselves from the hearing.
It rejected the application on the grounds that "insufficient facts had been advanced to show bias or a perception of bias on the part of these three members".
A victory for Malema, however, came when the hearing continued at Luthuli House on Wednesday, despite the ANC announcing late on Tuesday that it would be moved to an undisclosed venue.
Thousands of Malema supporters turned violent on Tuesday, damaging property in the area and pelting journalists and police with stones.
The change of heart by the ANC is believed to have been as a result of Malema's lawyers making submission on the venue.
A charge of barging into a meeting of the ANC national executive committee was removed from the charge sheet "for the sake of convenience".
Malema will appear together with his four executives, Pule Mabe, Sindiswa Magaqa, Ronald Lamola and Kenetswe Mosenogi.
Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans' Association chairman Kebby Maphatsoe yesterday said the association had written to the ANC requesting an investigation into Tuesday's chaos outside the party headquarters.