Suspended ANC youth leader Malema wins provincial post

20th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Julius Malema, the suspended youth leader of South Africa's ruling African National Congress, was elected Tuesday to a senior party post by members in his home province of Limpopo.

In a result that gives him a new platform from which to pursue his political ambitions, the ANC youth league president was voted onto the provincial executive committee in Limpopo, which has long been Malema's powerbase.

The result comes only days after ANC members in Limpopo re-elected provincial premier Cassel Mathale as their local leader, beating the candidate supported by South African President Jacob Zuma.

The 30-year-old firebrand was handed a five-year suspension by the ANC in November for bringing the party into disrepute, but he technically remains ANCYL president until an appeal is heard next week.

His election still sparked outrage from some delegates, who said it was against the party's constitution, according to Sapa news agency.

But provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane argued that Malema's suspension could only come into effect after his appeal is heard.

The provincial conference highlighted divisions in the ruling party, with Malema joining delegates in singing songs mocking Zuma.

Once a staunch ally of Zuma, Malema has threatened to remove Zuma as head of the party during the ANC's next leadership conference in December 2012.

If re-elected, Zuma will be the party's candidate for a second presidential term in elections due in 2014.

© 2011 AFP

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