Johannesburg - The African National Congress has changed the venue for the disciplinary hearings against the youth league's leadership, secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Tuesday evening, after a day of riots by supporters of ANCYL leader Julius Malema.
"We are changing the venue of the hearing to somewhere outside the city," Mantashe said to media at Luthuli House.
He said the ANC was changing the venue not because it thought the situation was out of control, but because of the inconvenience to people who work in the city centre.
"We can't be insensitive to people who must do business in the CBD."
The new venue would not be announced.
Malema, spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, deputy president Ronald Lamola, secretary general Sindiso Magaqa, his deputy Kenetswe Mosenogi, and treasurer general Pule Mabe face charges of bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing divisions in ANC ranks.
Malema recently said the ANCYL would send a team to Botswana to consolidate local opposition parties and help bring about regime change, as it believed the government there was "in full co-operation with imperialists" and was undermining the "African agenda".
Rioters earlier in the day thronged Johannesburg's city centre, hurling broken bricks at police and journalists and burning pictures of President Jacob Zuma in the name of Malema.
Rubber bullets and teargas were fired several times during the day at Malema supporters, who broke off pieces of concrete barriers, cut through yellow tape used to close off streets and set dustbins alight.
Shops shut their doors after rioters banged on windows and threw pieces of glass at them, while several banks in the city closed early.
Windows of some buildings in the area were smashed by stone-throwers.