Eric Naki

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema says the league will defeat any attempt to stop ANC leader Jacob Zuma from becoming the country's next president.

Malema, closing the league's 23rd national congress yesterday at Nasrec, Johannesburg, indicated that a team of legal brains had been assembled to mount a robust legal challenge to the validity of the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) case against Zuma.

"The sham of the investigation against him, which has lasted seven years, has been so badly tainted the prospects of a fair trial is nothing but an illusion," Malema said.

He said the case would be challenged on the grounds that his rights, particularly his right to dignity, were violated by the NPA's conduct.

"It is our considered view that the NPA's conduct in this investigation constituted an abuse of the country's judiciary and effectively obliterated chances of Comrade Zuma getting a fair trial. We will, therefore, challenge the courts to dismiss this case on these grounds."

He said as long as the ANC remained the ruling party the ANC president would be the country's president and that Zuma was the next president.

Earlier Malema defended the statement he made at the Youth Day rally in Thaba Nchu, saying it had not been meant literally as liberals had interpreted it.

He said the African context of "kill for Zuma" had nothing to do with actual killing.

It indicated a determination and love for revolution within the context of their respect for the law and Constitution of the country.

Malema vehemently criticised the South African Human Right Commission (HRC), which is challenging him about the statement he made.

"We dare say the resources and energy placed by the HRC at the remarks we made at the June 16 rally, which were clearly not intended to incite hatred and violence, demonstrate how their leaders are out of touch with the needs and aspirations of our people," Malema said.

He also unreservedly apologised to the ANC and South Africa for the bad behaviour displayed by some delegates at Mangaung, Free State, last April.