JOHANNESBURG - Outspoken ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema will learn on Thursday if he is to be suspended from South Africa's ruling party, which could deal a major blow to his political career and drive to nationalize the mines in the world's biggest platinum producer.
Sources in the ANC who did not want to be named said Malema was expected to be suspended for a year. Other office bearers in the African National Congress' youth wing who face similar charges will be let off with warnings, the sources added.
Scores of riot police cordoned off streets in downtown Johannesburg around the ANC headquarters to prevent a repeat of the violent clashes that erupted with Malema supporters at the end of August when the disciplinary hearing started.
"It's quiet for now and we are just standing by," police Lieutenant Lungelo Dlamini said.
Suspension of Malema would help pave the way for President Jacob Zuma to secure a second term as ANC leader - and hence state president - at a party conference in a year.