Malema’s empire crumbles

ANC Youth League president ­Julius Malema’s political empire

is crumbling as public confidence in him has plummeted, ­according to recent

surveys.

Confidence in him was slashed by half between February and December

last year. An Ipsos Markinor survey shows that he started the year on a

confidence measure of 46% but a FutureFact survey shows support for him dropped

to 22.3% between October and December last year.

A recent FGI-Insights survey of public transport commuters found

that more than half of respondents believed that the ANC should rein in its

youth leader.

Malema’s detractors in the league

accuse him of installing his preferred leaders in most provinces ahead of the

elective conference next year.

Almost all branches nationally are in disarray but the league’s

national executive committee (NEC) took action only against Western Cape and

North West. This is selective action, say league members.

A Mpumalanga ANCYL member said: “The majority of leaders are

ageing. Most are above 35 and about 20% of them are councillors but, because

Mpumalanga is dicey, it is not easy for the NEC to dissolve it.” The province is

one Malema could lose.

Gauteng has failed to convene its elective congress because five

out of six regions have not held preparatory conferences.

Thabo Kupa, the league’s provincial secretary who is a Malema proxy, is set to face a fierce contest from

Lebogang Maile.

“They are pushing us around because they want to delay the

conference so that they can go to (the) 2012 (ANC conference) intact,” said a

Gauteng ANC member opposed to Malema serving a

second term.

A Gauteng party leader said things came to a head after Maile’s

supporters prevented Malema’s henchman, Pule Mabe,

from being voted into the Gauteng ANC provincial executive committee last

month.

He said: “Julius’ empire is

crumbling. He has made so much money that he now disrespects elders.”

In Northern Cape and Limpopo, Malema’s allies have been elected. Last week, Mabe

dissolved the ANCYL conference in Eastern Cape where Malema is facing a challenge from his deputy Andile

Lungisa. Limpopo and the Eastern Cape are the most powerful provinces and Malema’s fortunes depend on the elective outcomes here.

A former national campaigner for Malema, who now backs Lungisa, said: “We want leadership

that will interact with the masses, not one that will launch branches when

conferences are around the corner.”

In North West members say their executive was disbanded because of

suspicions that it would not support Malema’s bid

to retain his position in 2011.

But Mabe says the NEC dissolved the executive for failing to

convene an elective conference. However, local leaders say two regional

conferences out of four have already been held.

»?In another matter, the ANCYL leadership has

instituted disciplinary steps against Malema’s

opponents in Limpopo following last month’s shambolic provincial conference.

Former provincial secretary Goodman Mitileni and Provincial

Executive Committee member Papiki Tjebane – both of whom are aligned with Malema’s arch-rival and former ANCYL Limpopo chair

Lehlogonolo Masoga – have been charged with misconduct. Masoga was also expected

to be charged.

 
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