Most of the provincial structures of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) have come out in support of Julius Malema serving a second term as its president.
On Monday, the youth league in Gauteng announced its support for Malema, despite reports that its chairperson Lebogang Maile was a contender with the backing of senior ANC leaders including President Jacob Zuma.
“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 reporters in Johannesburg.
Malema received the support of four out of five regions, garnering 271 votes compared to Maile’s 219.
Maile declined to say whether he would stand against Malema should he be nominated by delegates at the youth league’s elective conference in Midrand between June 16 and 20.
“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.”
He was “humbled” that youth league members wanted him to play a greater role in the organisation.
Gauteng secretary Ayanda Kasa Ntsobi said: “It’s not over until it’s over … and it’s only over at national congress.”
She said there was “only one message” the youth league in Gauteng wanted 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.”
On Saturday, Malema claimed that people backed by big business were against him because of his push for the nationalisation of South African mines.
The ANCYL Gauteng’s decision to support Malema was made at its PGC over the weekend.
The council supported Ronald Lamola for deputy president, Sindiso Magaqa as secretary general, Kenetswe Mosenogi as deputy secretary general and for Pule Mabe as treasurer general.
The youth league in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North West have also come out in support of Malema.
Northern Cape secretary Dikgang Stock said the youth league in the province had yet to hold its PGC, but that three out of its five regions had already met and had pronounced their support for Malema.
The other regions would meet this week.
Stock said the province’s support for Malema was already established.
The ANCYL in the Free State, the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape could not immediately be reached for comment.
You haven’t got Maile
On Sunday, the City Press reported that Maile’s campaign to oust Malema hinged on the support of the youth league in the Eastern Cape.
It wrote that ANCYL Eastern Cape chairperson Ayanda Matiti was on Maile’s top five list.
Matiti reportedly told Malema he would back him for a second term if he was nominated as secretary general.
The ANCYL leadership could be a key player in the ANC’s leadership contest in Mangaung in 2012.
Under Malema, the ANCYL would reportedly not back Zuma for a second term as ANC president. It would also want the party’s secretary general Gwede Mantashe replaced by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, who is a former president of the youth league.
On Sunday, the ANC issued a statement saying the ANC Youth League conference “has nothing to do with the ANC leadership, which includes President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and secretary general Gwede Mantashe”.
The ANC said the youth league conference had “absolutely no bearing and is no precursor to the ANC elective conference in 2012”. — Sapa