Marking time on Malema

THE heat in the battle for succession in the ANC goes up a notch today when ANC Youth League president Julius Malema is hauled before the party's disciplinary committee.

Both the chief complainant, party secretary general Gwede Mantashe, and Malema's defence adviser, treasurer general Mathews Phosa, are fighting for survival come the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung in 2012.

The league is campaigning for a complete overhaul of the ANC top six - with only President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe being favoured for re-election.

In their shake-up plan, first exposed by Sowetan, the league wants to replace Mantashe and Phosa - along with chairperson Baleka Mbete and deputy secretary Thandi Modise.

Phosa's decision to accept a request from the league to defend Malema could go a long way to saving the ANC treasurer general's political career and re-ignite his presidential ambitions.

Malema is due to be disciplined for the following transgressions:

lDisregarding an ANC instruction for its members to "restrain" themselves from singing the struggle song Ayesab' amagwala.

lUndermining an ANC NEC instruction for its members not to comment about the death of AWB leader Eugène Terre'Blanche.

lUndermining Zuma's mediation efforts in Zimbabwe.

lComparing Zuma to former president Thabo Mbeki by saying Zuma's treatment of the ANCYL was worse than Mbeki's.

Malema's detractors in the SACP and Cosatu-aligned unions launched an anti-Malema SMS campaign yesterday, quoting ANC stalwart OR Tambo's closing address at the 1969 ANC Morogoro conference when he said: "Wage a relentless war against disrupters and defend the ANC . Beware of the wedge-driver, comrades, watch his poisonous tongue."