Youth league deputy president Ronald Lamola, who, according to the league’s constitution, should assume the role of acting president, said his organization had not yet accepted the expulsion.
“Nothing has changed,” he said.
“Julius Malema is still the president of the youth league. We will ask the ANC national executive committee to review his expulsion. If that fails, we will fight this battle at the ANC congress in Mangaung.”
Insiders say the decision not to replace Malema and secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa – whose ANC membership has been suspended for a year – is part of a protest against the punishment imposed on them.
The Sunday Times learned that Malema declined nomination for the vice-presidency of the International Union of Socialist Youth because his backers feared winning the post could lead to Malema spending more time outside SA and to loss of focus in fighting his expulsion.
It is understood the league hopes Malema’s political career can be saved with the help of, among others, ANC NEC members Matthews Phosa, the party treasurer-general; Thandi Modise, deputy secretary-general; Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula; Northern Cape party chairman John Block; Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale; and Limpopo provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane.
However, this strategy is expected to be challenged by Malema’s detractors at the league’s next national executive committee meeting.
Malema’s backers came out strongly in his support this week. ANC youth league structures in the Northern Cape, Western Cape, Limpopo and Eastern Cape lambasted the decision of the ANC national disciplinary committee of appeals.
Northern Cape secretary Shadrack Tlhaole told the Sunday Times his province was prepared to take up the matter on its own.
“The NEC of the youth must sit and we will hear from them as to what we are going to do,” he said.
“But if there’s nothing, we as the youth league in the Northern Cape will do that [petition the ANC NEC]. Even as an individual member of the ANC one can do that because the constitution of the ANC allows it, so we are just patient with the process,” he said.
Mfuzo Zenzile, regional secretary of the Dullah Omar region in the Western Cape, said his branch would lobby for the reversal of Malema’s expulsion.
Eastern Cape secretary Mzonke Ndabeni said the action against Malema and Magaqa was “too harsh”. “We view it as a mistake or an error of judgment,” he said.
Ndabeni said the youth league in his province was discussing options to fill the leadership vacuum left by Malema’s expulsion.
“It can’t be right that we have a structure without a leader,” he said.
Lamola said a youth league national general council would be held before the ANC policy conference due in June.
Source: Times Live