(File image) Julius Malema. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg - The African National Congress has expelled party rebel Julius Malema for bringing the movement into disrepute, potentially sending the youth leader known for his calls to nationalise mines into the political wilderness.

Malema has 14 days to appeal the expulsion ruling, the ANC said in a statement. If he does appeal, he could stay in his position as leader of the ANC's youth wing until the appeals process is exhausted.

“Comrade Malema is a repeat offender... He has shown no remorse; is not prepared to be disciplined by the ANC,” the ANC said in a statement on Wednesday.

Malema was found guilty in November by a party disciplinary council of violating ANC rules by causing rifts in the group and undermining its credibility by calling for the overthrow of the democratic government of neighbouring Botswana.

He was suspended for five years but was allowed to keep his party posts pending an appeal.

However, the ANC rejected his appeal on Wednesday and increased his sentence on the grounds he was unrepentant.

The decision will also likely alter the political landscape by sidelining one of the most vocal foes of President Jacob Zuma who is seeking re-election as party leader in a vote to be held in December. - Reuters