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Johannesburg - Former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema has gone on the offensive against Ronald Lamola, describing his former deputy as a “traitor” and “sellout” who has crawled back to President Jacob Zuma.
In an exclusive interview with The Star on Tuesday, Malema said his former ANCYL deputy was negotiating with Zuma and ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe to switch allegiance in exchange for a chance to take over as league president after Mangaung.
Describing Lamola as a “small boy”, Malema has vowed that his former deputy would never lead the youth league because of “his selling-out tendencies”.
He said he had never needed Lamola in his life and was shocked when he saw him at his first court appearance for money-laundering in Polokwane in September.
In an indirect swipe at Lamola, who is in charge of the league, Malema said the league was currently disorganised, did not know whether it was coming or going, and that people communicated its decisions as if they were not committed.
He added that Zuma had paralysed the ANCYL.
The axed youth leader accused Lamola and others of having asked Zuma and Mantashe to expel suspended ANCYL secretary Sindiso Magaqa, who is due to return in April, because they see him as a threat to their ambitions.
Magaqa and former ANCYL spokesman Floyd Shivambu were suspended by the ruling party for misconduct and bringing it into disrepute.
“Lamola is negotiating with Zuma and Gwede to fire Magaqa. No, Magaqa must be expelled, and he thinks we do not know that.
“He is compromised. He is gone. He has sold out. But he must rest assured, he will never lead the youth league. Never! [With] his selling-out tendencies he will never lead the youth league,” Malema said.
The league had always preferred militant and principled leaders, Malema said, adding that the league under Lamola was no longer unified and decisive.
Lamola told The Star On Tuesday night he would comment after consulting his fellow cadres.
“I have read your SMS and heard your questions. Let me consult with other comrades. I am not sure whether we will be able to respond before your deadline,” Lamola said.
Malema’s attack came just days after Lamola released a statement warning ANCYL members against supporting their former president in their official capacities or organising official rallies.
The statement said: “Members are also advised that they cannot officially be part of these rallies. Attendance of the court case by members of the ANC Youth League would be in their individual personal capacities.
“The ANC Youth League does not have a case to answer for, hence it cannot be party to the court case process.”
This flew in the face of the ANCYL national executive committee decision to support Malema at his court hearings.
Complaining that “people are no longer loyal to decisions of the youth league”, Malema said he had never invited Lamola to his court cases.
“I never expected Lamola to come to court. When Lamola came to my first court appearance, I was shocked. I didn’t expect him. I did not invite him. I did not invite anybody to court.
“This is my case. I will answer it. Actually, Lamola very soon will be announcing that the youth league must support Zuma.
“I do not need him. I was never made by Lamola. He does not know where I come from. I don’t need Lamola in my life in the same way I have never needed Lamola in my political career.”
Malema said Lamola’s statement that the youth league would work with whoever was elected in Mangaung was a sign that he wanted to cross the floor.
“Without being asked a question, he just said we will accept the results even if Zuma wins. Even among the forces of change, Lamola is not anybody to be listened to. He is a traitor. He is not going to carry that mandate to its logical conclusion,” Malema said.