Maile banks on E Cape

2011-06-04 18:03

The campaign to oust ANC Youth League president Julius Malema hinges on the support of the ­Eastern Cape.

Eastern Cape youth league leader Ayanda Matiti was ­yesterday ­included in the top five list of ­Malema’s opponent, ­Lebogang Maile, who is also the ANCYL’s Gauteng chairperson.

Maile will challenge Malema as leader at the youth league’s ­conference in two weeks.

But Matiti has presented ­Malema with a thorny challenge, telling him he will back him for a second term as youth league ­president but that he also wants the position of secretary-general, the job he has now been offered by Maile.

Matiti does not feature in ­Malema’s top five list, according to earlier reports.

The Malema camp wants KwaZulu-Natal’s Sindiso Magaqa to fill the ­position of secretary-general.

A source close to the Maile ­campaign said: “We approached ­Matiti and he agreed to be on our side. But he is worried about (the branch) audit (process). If he comes out ­before the audit is ­complete they will fail his ­branches and hurt our campaign.”

Matiti refused to comment when asked about his loyalties, ­referring questions to the youth league’s Eastern Cape secretary, Mzonke Ndabeni.

Ndabeni said the province would back Malema but would break ranks and field Matiti as the secretary-general.

“We will contest the secretary- general position ... we will contest whether that person is fielded by the Malema or the Maile camp,” Ndabeni said.

According to him “the top five does not belong to Julius ... It ­belongs to the delegates of the ANC Youth League. And the ­Eastern Cape is going to contest the position of secretary-general.”

Malema declined to comment on what Ndabeni had to say. He was “uncomfortable” doing so.

Though the incumbent president’s supporters remain ­confident of a comfortable win for him, the move by the Eastern Cape introduces an added layer of horse trading to what is already set to be a tense conference.

“I can tell you we will be going to Gallagher Estate (in Midrand, where the conference will be held), calling for Matiti and ­Malema,” said Ndabeni.

“We are not going to retreat.”

To challenge Malema for the top job Maile has to secure the nominations of at least three of the nine provinces.

The Maile top five list was yesterday published on the Facebook page of Stella Ndabeni, an ANC MP and former member of the youth league’s national executive committee, who was ousted by Malema last year.

The posting reads: “After broad consultation thru out da country. Da renewal leadership has bn ­finalised as follows: Lebogang Maile (GP)-President, Ronald Lamola (MP), Ayanda Matiti (EC) Secretary General, ­Kumbudzo Ntshavheni (Limpopo) & Wandile Mkize (KZN) TG. No retreat! No surrender! Change is inevitable!”

Maile refused to say whether or not he had accepted the proposal.

Mkhize, the former regional chairperson of the Lower South Coast region in KwaZulu-Natal, which was disbanded by Malema late last year, confirmed he had been approached and would be prepared to accept such a ­nomination.

Lamola, who is from ­Mpumalanga, switched off his cellphone shortly after the posting appeared. He has been flagged as a Malema supporter and is also­ alleged to be on Malema’s ­preferred slate.

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