Johannesburg – Embattled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has called for leadership change in the ruling party, newspapers reported on Friday.
He urged African National Congress members to “reclaim” the party during its elective conference in Mangaung in December, reported The Star.
“Let’s get ready. We are going for a fight. We are going to Mangaung,” it quoted Malema as saying while he delivered the Ephraim Mogale memorial lecture in Moutse, Limpopo, on Thursday.
‘Reclaim the ANC’
“We are going to reclaim the ANC, to position it in such a way that it will survive the next hundred years.”
Malema said the ANC had survived for a hundred years because it engaged in robust debates and allowed criticism.
“Today, those who have a different view are pushed aside… Discipline in the ANC was never used to suppress a different view,” he said.
“If there is a leadership that is afraid of new views, new ideas, that leadership will kill the ANC.”
Malema is in the process of appealing against his five-year suspension for bringing the party into disrepute and for sowing division in its ranks.
He said former ANC president Alfred Xuma did not kick former president Nelson Mandela out of the party for his radical views when he was young.
Xuma had eventually been removed from power because he rejected the prospect of an armed struggle, as proposed by Mandela and former ANC president Oliver Tambo, who were members of the ANCYL at the time.
Critical of Jacob Zuma
The Times reported that Malema also used the lecture to criticise President Jacob Zuma’s decision to place five Limpopo departments under national administration.
He hinted that the decision was driven by politics, in an effort to sideline certain groups ahead of the conference.
He said the re-election of Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale as ANC provincial chairperson had “proved them wrong”.
“They took over the government thinking that state power would be used to win at the conference. There was a win with or without state power.”
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