/ 9 June 2011

We’re not gunning for Zuma, says Malema

We're Not Gunning For Zuma

ANC youth league president Julius Malema on Thursday quashed suggestions that he was against the re-election of Jacob Zuma as ANC president in the party’s elective conference next year.

This follows speculation that his praise of former president Thabo Mbeki as one of the best cadres the ANC has produced was an indication that he no longer supported Zuma for re-election.

‘These people who are going around saying we don’t want president Zuma, they are just using president Zuma to campaign against us and they want to create a fight against ourselves and president Zuma. President Zuma is supported by this organisation,” said Malema.

Ahead of its elective conference on June 16, we’ll be running multimedia features looking at the ANC Youth League’s main players. First up: Mandy Rossouw dissects the prospects of the youth league’s controversial incumbent president, Julius Malema.

Contrary to media reports, Malema said, Mbeki was not invited to their conference at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg on June 16. Only Zuma and deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe would address the conference.

‘There is no discussion in the youth league about leadership in the ANC … the congress has no bearing on the leadership of the ANC,” said Malema, who was addressing journalists at Luthuli House about the leagues’ preparation for their elective conference.

Malema promised a smooth conference without disruptions, despite reports that unnamed leaders in the ANC were planning to disrupt the conference.

‘Nothing will happen, not under our leadership — we are in charge of security. Not even the police will not be allowed inside that conference, they will be outside … the security of the conference is the security appointed by the youth league,” he said.

Earlier this week, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe dismissed Malema’s claims of possible disruptions organised by unnamed ANC leaders.

“Who planned for the disruption of the Mangaung conference? We saw bums outside there, everything. Was there a leader of the ANC who ordered them to take off their trousers?” said Mantashe in reference to the chaotic ANCYL conference in 2008, where Malema was elected president.

Following the league’s 2008 elective conference, a number of other provincial and regional youth league conferences around the country were characterised by similar disruptions, and even violence.

However, on Thursday the league’s deputy secretary, Steven Ngobeni appeared convinced that there were some within the ANC who planned to disrupt the conference.

‘We are saying there are talks in corners, and these have reached our ears. We are raising these talks so that people are aware we know that they have silly intentions.

‘In fact we intend [to use] measures to counter those [intrusions] as and when they arise at the congress,” said Ngobeni.

He added: ‘There won’t be any showing of bums or any such embarrassments. The congress is going to be run smoothly,” he added.