Juju backers lose key battle

ON THE eve of an all-important ANC national appeals committee sitting, expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema's supporters lost a critical battle in the league's national working committee meeting.

The committee (NWC) met on Tuesday. Malema's recent suspension was discussed and the officials informed the meeting about why he could not attend.

Those who attended told Sowetan that although the matter was not on the agenda, some NWC members raised their concerns that they had endorsed Malema's presidency to 2014 before the recent suspension, and therefore the NEC has to ratify the decision.

Other leaders in support of Malema wanted the NWC to pronounce their support for him but they were defeated and the matter was referred to the NEC meeting on Sunday.

Sowetan also understands that secretary Sandiso Magaqa and spokesman Floyd Shivambu came under fire for attacking MKMVA and for saying Zuma will not be re-elected as ANC president in December respectively.

Although the matter was not pursued further, there was a view that the two needed to apologise.

But Shivambu yesterday said there was no disagreements in the NWC. He said they agreed that a way forward would be tabled before the NEC.

Malema, led by his legal team, will be appearing today before the ANC appeals committee chaired by Cyril Ramaphosa to make representations on why the body should set aside the disciplinary committee's decision to expel him from the ANC.

Malema's supporters in Limpopo will be put to the test next week when a faction that is behind him battle with his opponents during the league's elective conference.

A Malema faction is fighting to retain Jacob Lebogo as secretary of the province, while his detractors want him replaced with Eddie Maleka.

Maleka broke ranks after the Peter Mokaba region, which he served as secretary, was disbanded last year.

He has formed a pact with Boy Mamabolo, another friend-turned-foe of Malema, who is also chairman of the league in the Milo Malatji branch in Seshego.

Mamabolo has threatened to conduct a parallel conference following threats that they might not be allowed inside the conference venue.

"We are going to attend the conference of dictators, failing which we have a Plan B to conduct a parallel conference to elect our own leaders," Mamabolo vowed yesterday.

Lebogo said yesterday they were finalising preparations for the much-anticipated conference and hoped it would be "incident-free".

"We are currently holding meetings in all regions to deal with issues of pre-registrations and finalising certain logistics of the conference," said Lebogo.