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Who will be the ANC Youth League's NO 1?

THE ANC Youth League will on Tuesday hold its 25th elective conference in Soweto where it will finally elect a president to succeed Julius Malema. It's a three-horse race, write Siviwe Feketha and George Matlala

THE 34-year-old former league treasurer Mabe is by far the most experienced campaigner of the three candidates. Mabe was a lieutenant of former president Julius Malema . Together with Floyd Shiv ambu, the three held a tight grip on the league .

But the drawn-out fight against President Jacob Zuma before the ruling party's 2012 conference took its toll on the friendship. Mabe eventually threw his lot in with Zuma while Malema was expelled.

Mabe has been working on some of the people and networks he inherited from Malema to drum up support for the presidency. But he has had hurdles to contend with. A former Gauteng Youth commissioner, Mabe, with two others, is out on bail of R10000 after his arrest for fraud relating to illegally soliciting funds from the South African Social Security Agency.

But the part-time businessman has used the charges to portray himself as the victim of a smear campaign aimed at blocking him.

Many have questioned his eligibility for the position , given his age . But the league's constitution allows him to stand. Mabe, who hails from Phalaborwa in Limpopo, sits on the ANC's national executive committee .

Gauteng has come out in support of Mabe. Other regions in Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga have also voiced support.

Mabe's youth league will be treated with some mistrust by Zuma, given his history of rebellion. It could be exactly what those who don't want a Zuma-anointed president ordered.


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