S.Africa's Malema out of hospital, faces ANC hearing

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JOHANNESBURG South African political firebrand Julius Malema was discharged from hospital, SABC news reported on Sunday, paving the way for his disciplinary hearing with the ruling ANC to resume this week.

Malema was admitted to a private hospital in his home province of Limpopo — about 400 kilometres from Johannesburg — with flu-like symptoms, the youth wing of the African National Congress said last week.

Leaders of the ANC’s youth wing were not immediately available for comment.

The ANC initiated disciplinary action against Malema in August, charging him with sowing dissension in its ranks. It postponed proceedings, which could determine his political fate, due to his hospitalisation and said the hearing would resume on October 15. The hearing was not expected to conclude for several weeks.

Malema, 30, seen as a potential future ANC leader, faces suspension or expulsion from the party if found guilty..

Although he has no direct policy-making power he is one of the ANC’s most popular politicians, winning admiration among millions of poor South Africans while alarming investors with his calls to nationalise mines and seize white-owned farmland.

Malema also faces a separate police investigation into his finances including a suspected slush fund he uses to pay for his lavish lifestyle.