The man who may topple Malema

By Drum Digital
28 July 2010

HE HAS an easy charm and a razor-sharp mind that makes him walk easily in the corridors of political power. But that’s not why his name is on everyone’s lips. People are talking about Lehlogonolo Masoga because he’s the first serious contender to the throne of ANC youth league president Julius Malema.

Lehlogonolo’s recent expulsion as Limpopo ANCYL leader caused a storm in political circles. He’s challenged the youth league leader and members from other provinces agree with his statements that Julius isn’t following proper election procedures. That’s why the 33-year-old politician poses a serious threat to Julius, a man he once considered one of his closest friends, insiders say. And if he’s in the ANCYL come election time it could be one of the hottest leadership battles in years.

Ironically Lehlogonolo helped Julius to become current president of the youth league. The two were once close despite being quite different in everything from their personalities and education to their looks. One thing they do have in common is that they can command the attention of a crowd. We see this when we spot the ousted leader from a distance at the parliamentary buildings in Polokwane.

He cuts a dashing figure in a tailored suit and black shirt among the suited bureaucrats milling about. Laughing and chatting confidently with fellow provincial parliament members, he seems to draw others to him.

His two cellphones ring incessantly and he takes every call. But when we finally manage to catch a quiet moment with him he puts both phones on silent before leading us to a room to talk about the recent developments in his political career.

“I’m still an ANC member,” he says about his expulsion from the league for “sowing division and bringing the league into disrepute”. “I’m still the leader of the province and I will remain provincial leader until I hand over the position at the upcoming provincial conference in August.”

Read the full article in DRUM of 5 August 2010

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