The appeal by ANC Youth League President Julius Malema against his five-year suspension from the party starts today.
The ANC’s national disciplinary committee imposed the suspension after Malema and other league members were found guilty of ill discipline and undermining party leadership.
The youth league leaders’ legal team will argue that their clients did not contravene the ANC constitution.
They will also say that President Jacob Zuma and party secretary-general Gwede Mantashe both prejudged the case by publicly speaking out against Malema.
Last year, Mantashe told the Food and Allied Workers’ Union that Malema was a “poison” that needed to be removed from the ANC, while Zuma attacked the league for urging “regime change” in Botswana. Both made their statements after the youth league leaders had been charged by the ANC in August.
The league’s legal team will also say their clients were sentenced without being given a chance to argue in mitigation.
But people close to ANC processes say the response will be that the party does not necessarily follow formal judicial procedures.
Other league officials disciplined include Floyd Shivambu, who was suspended for three years.