ancyl shocker

Ido Lekota

Ido Lekota

Sparks are set to fly in the second leg of the ANC Youth League's 23rd national congress when delegates challenge the leadership of the newly elected president, Julius Malema.

Youth league insiders told Sowetan that there is a move - initiated by Gauteng - to depose Malema during the congress which starts on Friday afternoon at Nasrec.

The move is said to have gained support from the rest of the provinces with the exception of Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.

Malema recently came under fire at a June 16 rally after he said that the youth were "prepared to take up arms and kill" for ANC president Jacob Zuma.

The Human Rights Commission asked Malema to apologise. He refused.

The insiders said Gauteng had considered challenging Malema's election through legal channels. But now it could be done by raising a motion of no confidence in him at the congress.

"He has dug his political grave by making such a senseless statement and then thinking he is a revolutionary by refusing to apologise."

The preferred candidate is said to be current South African Student Congress leader David Maimela.

Malema and the top four positions of the league's leadership were elected during the first leg of the congress, in Mangaung, in April. The congress was abandoned after violence broke out between Malema's and challenger Saki Mofokeng's supporters.

The new leadership was endorsed by the ANC national working committee. The insider said the ANC's endorsement was immaterial.

He criticised the ANC leadership, especially Zuma, for failing to sanction Malema.

"They owe their current positions to Malema and his faction, hence their ham-handed handling of the issue," said another insider.

Yesterday youth league spokesman Zizi Kodwa denied that there was a move to remove Malema.

"ANCYL members throughout the country are behind the current leadership under comrade Malema. The status quo remains and congress will only elect additional members of the national executive committee," said Kodwa.