ANCYL deputy president Ronald Lamola said it was a tradition in the ANC for deputy presidents to later be elected as president of the organisation.
"One day comrade Kgalema Motlanthe will become president of the ANC," Lamola said. "It is written in the history books of the ANC."
Lamola was speaking at a ANCYL Nelson Mandela memorial lecture in Hillbrow, Johannesburg.
Immediately following his endorsement of Motlanthe, Lamola noted that Mandela had promised to serve only one term as state president.
"We are inspired by the man's word," Lamola said.
"When he saw the nice life of the president of the country. He never let it divert [him] from that promise."
Lamola also referenced the ousting of former ANC president AB Xuma with the help of the ANCYL at a conference in 1949.
"He was not even given those minutes to finish his term," Lamola said to cheers from the audience.
Lamola also slammed ministers for poor service delivery and malfeasance and called for their firing.
Lamola singled out Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga for criticism.
"Those who say it was not their responsibility to deliver books must also be fired," he said.
Lamola criticised Molewa for not delivering clean water to Carolina. He argued that ministers were quick to make claims that they would deliver but deflected blame when they came up short.
"When things go bad you say it is not your responsibility," said Lamola.
He criticised Mthethwa for having a security fence built around his house with public funds.
"You cannot have a person where they built a security fence around his house and he do not know … how does he get in and out of his house," asked Lamola.
Immediately after criticising Mthethwa, Lamola argued that public officials who don't measure up should be fired despite who they support politically.
Lamola also defended the independence of the youth league and argued that, using the example of Mandela, they should continue to push the ANC into more radical action.
"A child in any family must be different from its parents," Lamola said. "If a child behaves like its parents, then there is no reason for the child to have been born."
He defended the youth league's rough language and argued that in other developing countries, such as China, government officials were younger.
"That is why [in China] you never see a sleeping politician in Parliament," Lamola said.
"The politicians they even fight and moer each other. They moer each other because they are fighting for the direction of their country," he said.
Lamola also lauded the youth and their talents before expanding the youth league's call for mine nationalisation to include land expropriation.
"[The youth] can be used in the mines we are going to nationalise and the land we are going to expropriate," Lamola said.
He argued the state should not have to compensate farmer's for their land because it had previously been stolen from indigenous Africans.
"We do not understand why we must pay them because they took it for free," Lamola said.