Gauteng giving Malema backing

The ANC Youth League in Gauteng (ANCYL) backs its current president Julius Malema for a second term, its chairperson Lebogang Maile said today.

“... the Gauteng provincial general council (PGC) resolved to nominate and sponsor the name of incumbent ANCYL president Julius Malema as a candidate for president,” Maile told reporters in Johannesburg.

Maile was reportedly a contender for the position, but his campaign – reportedly backed by senior ANC leaders including President Jacob Zuma – was put on the back foot due to lack of support from his own province.

Malema received the backing of four out of five regions, garnering 271 votes compared to Maile’s 219.

Maile declined to say whether he would stand as presidential contender should delegates at the league’s upcoming elective conference nominate him. The league would elect new leadership between June 16 and 20 in Midrand.

“I can’t predict what will happen at congress?... I have always said internal democracy must be given a chance. In the ANC you don’t talk about yourself.”

He was “humbled” by ANCYL members wanting him to play a greater role in the organisation.

Provincial secretary Ayanda Kasa Ntsobi said “it’s not over until it’s over?... And it’s only over at national congress.”

But there was “only one message” the ANCYL in Gauteng wished to communicate.

“... We are fully behind comrade Julius Malema to come back for a second term?... as prescribed by processes of internal democracy. When structures have spoken, we simply?... soldier on,” she said.

Malema on Saturday claimed that people backed by big business were against him due to his push for the nationalisation of South African mines.

Reports last week indicated Maile and his backers penned a two-page document containing a critique of Malema’s leadership style. The document is reportedly to be used to oust Malema.

The league in Gauteng held its PGC over the weekend, where the decision to back Malema was taken.

The council supported Ronald Lamola for deputy president, Sindiso Magaqa as secretary general, Kenetswe Mosenogi as deputy secretary general and for Pule Mabe to retain his position as treasurer general.

Lamola in a statement today responded to a report in City Press indicating he was part of the Maile camps’ preferred list.

“I hereby distance myself from this fictitious list and would like to state that I have never met or being [sic] engaged by anyone to support Maile. I remain firm on my support for Malema and will never consider any list that is led by Maile,” he said.

The ANCYL leadership would be a key player in the ANC’s next leadership contest to take place in Mangaung in 2012.

The league under Malema reportedly would not back Zuma for a second term as ANC president and wanted the party’s secretary general Gwede Mantashe replaced by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula.

The ANC on Sunday issued a statement saying the ANCYL conference “has nothing to do with the ANC leadership which includes President Jacob Zuma, deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe and secretary general Gwede Mantashe.”

The party said the league conference had “absolutely no bearing and is no precursor to the ANC elective conference in 2012”.

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