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Sowetan has reliably learnt that most provinces, except Mpumalanga, are preparing to support the move should Malema's appeal, which was submitted last night, fail. The league in Mpumalanga is opposed to the move as it will prejudice Malema's deputy, Ronald Lamola, from taking over in line with the league's constitution.
An ANCYL insider yesterday said Limpopo and the North West were also supporting Lamola, but they were concerned about the presence of treasurer Pule Mabe in the top five of the leadership.
Mabe, who is serving his second term as treasurer, was recently alleged to have gone to KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape to lobby for support to replace Malema.
"There are fears that if you let the DP (Lamola) take over, the TG (Mabe) could manipulate systems and end up running the league from behind the scenes," said the insider.
There are behind-the-scenes lobbying to get a "strong candidate" like Eastern Cape chairman Ayanda Matiti to stand for election at the congress.
Limpopo secretary Jacob Lebogo was also considered.