The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) in Gauteng backs president Julius Malema for a second term, its chairperson, Lebogang Maile, said on Monday.
“… the Gauteng PGC [provincial general council] resolved to nominate and sponsor the name of incumbent ANCYL president Julius Malema as a candidate for president,” Maile told a media briefing in Johannesburg.
Maile was reportedly a contender for the position, but without the support of his own province his campaign has been put on the back foot.
Malema received the support of four out of five Gauteng regions, garnering 271 votes compared with Maile’s 219 votes.
Maile declined to say whether he would stand as presidential contender should delegates at the league’s upcoming elective conference nominate him.
“I can’t predict what will happen at congress … I have always said internal democracy must be given a chance.
“In the ANC you don’t talk about yourself.”
Provincial secretary Ayanda Kasa Ntsobi added that “it’s not over until it’s over”.
“… And it’s only over at national congress.”
But, she said there was “only one message” the ANCYL in Gauteng wished to communicate. “… we are fully behind comrade Julius Malema to come back for a second term … as prescribed by processes of internal democracy.
“When structures have spoken, we simply … soldier on,” she said.
The league in Gauteng held its PGC over the weekend where the decision to back Malema was taken.
Meanwhile, Malema was reported by the Times on Monday as saying that former president Thabo Mbeki was the “best” leader produced by the ANC.
“Mbeki is the best leader the ANC has ever produced. There are those who hated him with a passion but forgot that Mbeki, during his leadership, had produced a two-thirds majority during elections,” he was quoted as saying by the paper.
“Those who hate Mbeki are jealous of his achievements. He was the most educated and clever.
“The only problem with Mbeki was failing to allow the leadership the ANC to decide on who they wanted in the leadership, and for wanting a third term in leading the organisation. Apart from that he was the best and I respect him for that,” Malema was quoted as saying by the Times in his speech at a meeting of the league’s Limpopo provincial general council in Polokwane. — Sapa