28/10/2011 ANCYL leader Julius Malema addresses his followers at the Caledonian Stadium in Pretoria early this morning ahead of the organisation's march on the Union Buildings Picture: Sizwe Ndingane

Julius Malema’s hopes for his expulsion to be overturned have been dashed.

The ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) has found no grounds to overturn the decision to expel the youth league firebrand.

That’s according to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, who was briefing journalists on the outcome of Monday’s special NEC meeting in Joburg on Tuesday.

"After long deliberation on whether the NEC should use its discretion... overwhelmingly, the NEC agreed that there were no compelling grounds to review the decision," Mantashe said.

"The rejecting of the review by the NEC therefore closes the chapter on this matter."

Mantashe said most of the special NEC meeting, held on Monday, was spent discussing the matter.

The NEC would also not review the suspension of ANC Youth League secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa and spokesman Floyd Shivambu.

The ANC's constitution does not provide for an automatic review of a disciplinary outcome by the NEC.

Instead, supporters of Malema would have had to persuade the body to discuss the issue - and then win the argument that his case deserved another look.

Instead, it found there were no compelling reasons to reconsider the decision of the National Disciplinary Committee on Appeals.

Mantashe denied earlier reports that there had been fighting between NEC members regarding the decision.

"The discussion was robust (and) open... All members of the NEC who wanted to speak were given the opportunity (to do so), without fear or favour," he said.

Political Bureau, Sapa