Well cor blimey, smack me with a wet fish! Nobody saw this one coming...the general consensus was that the ANC would rap Malema over the knuckles with a mild warning, and after that it would be business as usual. Zuma might be an execrable scumbag, but to give the devil his due, he's a crafty old fox. By slapping down Juli-arse he's successfully neutralised a major threat to his prime position at the feeding trough.
Watching these Arsezanian squabbles is not too dissimilar to watching a Discovery channel documentary on how silverback primates battle out their troop supremacies, and Zuma's done a good job of slapping down the cheeky upstart.
Basically he is screwed - it's the end of the road for Fat Boy, unless he wins an appeal - highly unlikely according to a number of analysts. So what happens next? Is anyone willing to venture a guess? There's a number of scenarios.
One is that the ANC splits yet again - your favourite flatnosed demagogue has substantial support within this racist terrorist organisation- and with the backing of scum like Whining Winnie and nouveau riche Tokyo the Sex Whale, they might just be able to pull off starting their own political party. If this happens, it would be a sure fire recipe for civil war.
Another is that FatBoy and his cohorts will now start descending the nine levels of hell - after getting kicked out of his troop, they might start investigating the millions he's stolen, and he could end up munching peanuts in a jail cell somewhere.
A third would be that today's ruling could precipitate massive infighting - when Malema's hearings first started, hordes of supporters caused havoc in downtown Johannesburg. The subsequent march, which we predicted could go one of two extreme ways, ended with a highly uncharacteristic whimper and shockingly, not a single rock hurled or even one handful of poop flung!
As with our predictions then, we might be facing the same extreme scenarios now. Either he will leave quietly, never to be heard from again, or things could get very ugly and violent in the mother of all chimp-outs.
Let's hope for the former.
Below, some views from various analysts:
JEFF GABLE, CHIEF ECONOMIST, ABSA CAPITAL
"Given that Malema was seen as an important point-person for political factions within the ANC that have been looking to insert a more radical set of policies around land reform and state intervention in the mining sector, as well as a lightning rod for an anti-Zuma campaign, it is likely to be viewed as an important strengthening of President Zuma.
"All of this matters more than usual, as the political battle lines within the ANC and its partners continue to shift ahead of next year's highly important ANC policy conference (mid-year) and elective conference (December 2012).
"In the very near-term, watch for any move by Malema to try and appeal the sentence and/or to coalesce a group around himself to try and fight the ruling.
"Our sense is this is likely to be the end of the political road for Malema, at least during the duration of his five-year suspension."
CHRISTIE VILJOEN, ECONOMIST, NKC INDEPENDENT ECONOMIST
"Whatever they do with Malema the big issues he has raised and what he represents won't go away. The poverty, the inequalities and the unemployment continue.
"He's not necessarily going to lie down, he's going to continue being vocal and somebody else will probably step up to take his place at the Youth League
"We will have to see if there's an appeal, who knows what could happen. I can't see he is going to be quiet.
"The problem now is that he motivated himself as somebody who stands for the poor and now the ruling party is saying: we don't like you anymore so the issue of poverty will be raised more and more."
KARIMA BROWN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR ON ENEWS CHANNEL
"Julius Malema has lost the presidency of the ANCYL. That is the most important ramification of what (disciplinary hearing chairman) Derek Hanekom has just said.
"The larger story is that the Youth League leadership is in crisis.
"Mr. Malema has had a date with history today and he is finished in the ANC and ANCYL."
NIC BORAIN, INDEPENDENT POLITICAL ANALYST
"This is obviously good for the ANC - for its image, for its internal coherence and for the reputation of its leadership. The loutish and grandiose behaviour of the ANC Youth League and the individual leaders' involvement in looting the public sector behind a facade of representing the interest of the poorest and most marginalised has deeply damaged the reputation and core values of the ANC.
"Much will depend on whether the leadership has the stomach and spine to follow the disciplinary process with a thorough implementation of the sentence throughout all forums of the organisation. We shouldn't forget that important individuals and constituencies have backed Malema through this process.
"Will the sentence provoke a backlash, attempting to build opposition by portraying Malema as a victim? It is obviously possibility, but most observers are hoping that the grave tones and thorough approach of the ANC Disciplinary Committee might presage a process of repair and renewal in the ruling party."
ANNE FRUHAUF, AFRICA ANALYST, EURASIA GROUP
"The ruling doesn't directly tackle the nationalisation issue. But it will be viewed as a signal that the most vocal proponent of nationalisation has been cut down to size.
"The Youth League doesn't dictate policy, but Malema's tireless lobbying within the party and on the streets has caused great anxiety among investors.
"In our view, the nationalisation debate will become a little more muted if Malema's influence wanes. But one thing is clear: nationalisation is not off the agenda and will feature at the ANC's 2012 policy conference.
"We still don't expect the ANC to endorse anything like the Youth League's demand for 60 percent state equity and constitutional amendments to expropriation clauses. But there seems to be clear consensus around the need for more redistribution.
"This won't be a worst case outcome, but this is not good news for investors, because many already consider the current policy regime to be onerous.
"The succession battles have been so bitter that they will leave the ANC even more divided. The run-up to Mangaung won't be plain sailing for Zuma, especially if Malema can drag out the looming appeal against his sentence and refuses to relinquish his leadership of the Youth League." - Reuters