Youth league readies itself for power struggle

BATTLE lines have been drawn between ANCYL president Julius Malema's supporters and those of Lehlogonolo Masoga, his arch-rival and the league's provincial chairperson in Limpopo.

This comes after Malema, pictured, endorsed the faction challenging Masoga's leadership - after a fall-out between the two leaders a few years ago.

Caught up in the struggle is Frans Moswana - topping the list with Malema's close ally Jacob Lebogo - who is standing firm to oppose Masoga's re-election.

The league's provincial conference is scheduled to start on Friday at Makhado College near Louis Trichardt.

According to league insiders Masoga fell out of favour with the youth president after Premier Cassel Mathale's plan for his cabinet was tabled.

"There is also a strong belief that Masoga and his team were supposed to protect the two leaders (Malema and Mathale, over allegations involving tender deals) - and that's why Masoga is not receiving support," a source said.

Another ANC insider said Masoga had earned support from many branch members because he supported political ideas over individual interests.

"This is the turning point of the ANC. The outcome of the conference will actually determine the future of the ANC and possibly of the country," the source said.

"If Moswana loses it means Malema will lose the backbone of his province and that will also impact on Premier Mathale," the ANC insider said.

According to him if the Moswana group wins it would mean that calls to endorse Fikile Mbalula as general secretary of the ANC in 2012 would gain support in the province.

About 480 delegates are expected to take part in the conference.

Masoga lobbyist Dogen Ndove said they had support in the Vhembe, Mopani, Sekhukhune and Waterberg districts and from members in Capricorn.

But the Moswana camp's chief lobbyist, Kgopelo Phasha, said it had already won and were just waiting for the conference's procedures to take place.