Malema support down - survey
Johannesburg - Support for ANC Youth League president Julius Malema in urban areas has dropped to 17% from 21% last year, according to a survey released on Thursday.
"Support for Julius Malema shows a consistent decline over the last 18 months, though less so in the last year among those aged under 24," the researchers found.
"There are significant gender differences, especially among blacks, with females showing much lower levels of support.
"The unemployed show higher signs of support as do younger blacks, but they are still a minority."
The TNS SA survey of 2 000 people living in metropolitan areas was conducted between August 25 and September 12 at the start of Malema's disciplinary hearing before the ANC.
At the end of 2009, his level of support stood at 27% of the people polled.
Researchers found differences to the question "I support what Julius Malema says and does" in different race groups.
No support from Indians/Asians
Blacks came out at 26% (30% last year), whites 2% (5%), coloureds 4% (4%) and Indians/Asians none (7%).
TNS said there were significant gender differences, with 20% of men supporting Malema, compared with 15% of women.
Among blacks, 31% of men supported him and 22% of women.
Malema's support levels reached 23% among the unemployed and 16% among the employed.
By age group, he had the support of 26% of people between 18 and 24, and 22% of those between 25 and 34. His support dropped to 7% among people aged 35 to 49.
The studies were conducted among 1 260 blacks, 385 whites, 240 coloureds and 115 Indians/Asians.
The South Gauteng High Court recently declared that words that translate to "shoot the boer" as sung by Malema constituted hate speech.
AfriForum communications and youth affairs deputy chief executive Ernst Roets, said on Thursday that the results of the TNS survey debunked criticism that the case, which was lodged by AfriForum Youth, had given Malema a platform to gain support.
"The latest research is a clear indication that Malema's support during the court case had decreased. Thus there are no merits in this argument," he said.