April 24, 2012
JOHANNESBURG. — The Limpopo ANC Youth League revealed its preferences for the ANC leadership race ahead of Mangaung in song at the provincial conference at the weekend. At the conference, held in Polokwane, delegates sang: “Sovotela uKgalema, sovotela uMbalula ngo 2012” (We will vote for Kgalema and Mbalula in 2012).
The song was led by ANCYL secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa.
The league apparently wants Motlanthe as the next president, and prefers Fikile Mbalula, a former ANCYL president, to take over from Gwede Mantashe as secretary-general. This is despite the fact that the ANC has instructed that the succession debate must stop until October.
The conference re-elected Jacob Lebogo, a trusted ally of Julius Malema, as secretary.
Rudzani Ludere, another Malema supporter, was elected to the position of chairman. In his closing address, Ludere pronounced Motlanthe as the incoming president. “Wa tsena Kgalema” (Kgalema is next), he said.
The ANC in Limpopo has also thrown its support behind the youth. Premier Cassel Mathale, who is also ANC provincial chairman, said the youth league was entitled to determine who leads the ANC.
He referred to a speech that President Zuma delivered at the ANCYL congress last year in Midrand. Mathale pointed out that Zuma had said the youth were the future custodians of the ANC.
“You are therefore playing your rightful role when you participate actively in the processes of the ANC, including influencing the leadership composition, as the league has been doing so for decades,” Zuma was quoted as saying.
Delegates “demanded” to meet with the ANC to discuss Malema’s future in the organisation. Lebogo said disciplinary action against Malema should stop.
“Malema remains our president until 2014,” said Lebogo. “We also condemn the behaviour of people who rape. This thing (rape) has been tolerated, and now it is leading to mass rapes,” he added.
Although Lebogo did not mention Zuma by name, this was perceived as a dig at Zuma, who was accused of raping an HIV-positive woman in 2005. Zuma was later cleared of the charge.
Meanwhile, Malema told delegates who visited him at his home that he still had influence on who was elected, even if he had been expelled from the ANC.
He said that even when he was suspended from student politics at high school, he still appointed pupils’ representatives. Some of us as we fall on the way, among you there must be cadres who will continue with the struggle,” said Malema. “And comrades, you cannot fail on this generational mission. You must fight until you attain economic freedom,” Malema said.
On Sunday, Ludere said Malema’s life was under threat. “Our view is that they now want to arrest our leaders. They want to arrest them because it is difficult to assassinate our leaders. The only way is to arrest our leaders and poison them in prison,” he said.