Malema re-elected as ANCYL leader

Johannesburg - Julius Malema has been elected unopposed to lead the ANC Youth League for a second term.

The announcement was made shortly after 19:30 when Lebogang Maile, the man tipped to challenge him for the league's top job, declined the nomination that was made for him to stand.

It is understood that Maile felt he wouldn't have been able to garner the required support from the 5 500 delegates to challenge Malema in a vote.
 
It ends months of campaigning below the radar on his behalf by delegates who wanted a change in the leadership.

However, it was clear from the moment the conference began yesterday that Malema had the vast majority of delegates with him.

Earlier today, Maile ruled out any possibility of withdrawing from the race.

This came after rumours circulated on the second day of the league's national conference in Midrand this afternoon that he had been advised by senior ANC leaders from Gauteng, including provincial chairperson Paul Mashatile, to pull out in exchange for the position of being Malema's deputy.

Speculation was rife among some conference delegates, mainly Malema's supporters, that Maile had agreed not to run for the sake of organisational unity.

They claimed Maile had agreed to a deal that would allow Malema and President Jacob Zuma to retain their positions as league and ANC presidents, respectively, unopposed. 

Speaking to City Press on the sidelines of the conference, Maile said that withdrawing from the race was not an option for him.

Asked if Mashatile and Zuma had advised him to pull out, Maile replied: "It's not true. Nobody can advise me to pull out because I am not their candidate."

While the Gauteng league chairperson had been nominated by the league's Sedibeng region, he would have had to secure the required threshold to challenge Malema in a secret ballot.

After failing to secure nomination from at least three provinces during the nomination processes, he would have needed to be nominated by 30% of the league’s voting delegates or 1 800 people from the floor.

The conference will end on Sunday. Between now and then, delegates will vote in Malema's leadership team as well as a national executive committee.

- City Press
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