Malema loyalists in pound seats

Embattled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema’s loyalists in the Western Cape and Limpopo are expected to retain power when the organisation holds its elective provincial conferences this weekend and the next.

The youth league in the Western Cape will attempt a second go at its provincial conference this weekend, after its December conference was aborted due to irregularities related to delegates.

Two main contenders have emerged for the position of provincial chairperson: Luvo Makasi and Jonton Snyman.

Controversial league member Loyiso Nkohla is expected to be elected provincial secretary. He has been a thorn in the provincial ANC leadership’s side, with allegations that he was responsible for the chaos that erupted during President Jacob Zuma’s centenary lecture in Cape Town in February. Makasi’s camp enjoys the backing of provincial ANC chairperson Marius Fransman, who will push for the province to rally behind Zuma for a second term. But Snyman’s faction, which includes Nkohla and was central to the Makhaza open-toilet sage in the province, supports Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

A further faction, called the Third Way and led by the provincial Young Communist League, will also be contesting for leadership, although provincial sources say that both Makasi and Snyman’s camps are lobbying for the Third Way to join their factions instead of going it alone.

The Young Communist League supports Zuma’s bid for a second term and Makasi’s faction has been hard at work in trying to convince it to join forces. Malema was not scheduled to attend the conference, but the league’s secretary general, Sindiso Magaqa, confirmed that he would oversee proceedings.

Back in Malema’s home province Limpopo, this weekend’s conference has been postponed by a week due to the youth league’s national executive committee meeting on Sunday.

Although Malema’s close friend and ally, Jacob Lebogo, is said to have the backing of all five regions, he will not go uncontested. The anti-Malema camp in the province will punt its candidate, Eddie Maleka, for the position of provincial secretary.

Provincial anti-Malema sources said Lebogo’s faction had disbanded the Peter Mokaba region where Maleka was secretary. In spite of this, they say they will take on Lebogo.

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