Malema pops up in Limpopo power play

Suspended ANC Youth League president Julius Malema was among 40 candidates nominated to serve on the ANC’s Limpopo provincial executive committee (PEC), an official confirmed on Monday.

“Yes, he [Malema] is on the list,” provincial spokesperson David Masondo told Sapa.

Masondo said voting for the 20 additional members would take place on Monday, before commissions report back on resolutions during a closed session.

Proceedings had not started by 10.45am. However, Masondo said an official announcement of the PEC would be made later in the day.

“Delegates decided to only nominate and not vote as planned on Sunday because they were tired. People retired at 9pm,” he said.

It is understood that some delegates wanted to attend a free-for-all party hosted by Malema at Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Thousands of youth flocked to the venue where they were entertained by prominent house DJs and artists, including Nigeria’s Flavour — which sent the crowd into a frenzy.

Malema, who is Mathale’s close ally, spent his time at a white marquee set up close to the stage.

No plans for Parliament
Earlier this year Malema joked that he did not want a job in government. Speaking at the University of the Western Cape, Malema said he had no desire to go into Parliament or become a minister.

He said at the time: “If you try to buy [Police Minister] Nathi [Mthethwa] a coke — or a cold drink now, he will have to check the ministerial handbook.”

On Sunday Malema addressed delegates, talking about ANC provincial chair’s Cassel Mathale’s victory and Pretoria’s intervention in Polokwane.

Mathale won on Sunday by a margin of 82 votes in the highly contested election. He faced the deputy minister of arts and culture, Joe Phaahla, and won with 601 votes. Phaahla received 519 votes.

Voted in as deputy chair was Dickson Masemola, the secretary is Soviet Lekganyane, the treasurer is Pinky Kekane and her deputy is Florence Dzhombere. They are all in Mathale’s group.

This was no surprise for Mathale’s supporters, who felt the writing was on the wall all along.

Phaahla’s supporters’ hopes were shattered, with a majority absent from the conference on Sunday.

President Jacob Zuma has meanwhile reiterated that government’s decision to place five of the province’s departments under administration was not, as numerous reports had suggested, politically motivated.

The decision came under fire last week over concerns that financial assistance would allegedly strengthen Zuma’s hand in the political infighting with Mathale.

On Sunday, Zuma said government stepped in merely to help the province.

“Limpopo is saying we ran out of money, please help us pay the civil servants until the next financial year … them not being able to pay their workers is not political … to respond cannot be described as political,” the SABC reported Zuma as saying.– Sapa

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