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Former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has criticised his successor Ronald Lamola, calling him a “traitor” and a “sell-out”, The Star newspaper reported on Wednesday.
“He is compromised. He is gone. He has sold out... (With ) his sell-out tendencies he will never lead the youth league,” Malema told the paper.
Malema criticised a statement by Lamola that the league would support the outcome of the ANC national elective conference in Mangaung regardless of whether their endorsed candidates won.
“Without being asked a question, he just said we will accept the results even if (President Jacob ) 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.
Malema said he was shocked to see Lamola at his court hearings and said he did not need “Lamola in my life”.
“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.”
Lamola declined to comment to the paper, saying he had to “consult with comrades” before offering a response to Malema's criticisms.
Suspended ANCYL spokesman and Malema's right-hand man Floyd Shivambu, said Lamola had not betrayed the organisation.
“...Ronald Lamola has not betrayed the struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime and has not changed the collective view that there should be (a ) change of leadership in the ANC 53rd national conference...” Shivambu said in a statement on Wednesday.
But he said Malema remained their “commander-in-chief” as the findings of ANC national disciplinary committee did not hold water “in the struggle and in formal structures of the ANC Youth League”.
He said Lamola's self-appointment as acting president did not count.
Shivambu said Malema and Lamola were the two most senior people in their organisation and their responsibility and obligation was to guide all progressive forces towards “victory of the war”.
“Tactical blunders and mistakes, which include miscommunication, have (the ) potential to throw (sic) confusion... and disorganise the struggle for total economic emancipation,” he said.
“Differences on the tactical options and what is to be immediately done have (the ) potential to undermine and compromise the strategic mission we have identified for ourselves.
“And if these unnecessary differences and bickering are not discontinued, we run the risk of undermining the struggle for economic freedom... and once again delay the emancipation of the downtrodden, hopeless, and suffering masses of our people.”
He urged Malema and Lamola not to play into the hands of the enemy.
“The strategic enemy of our struggle is capital and imperialism; those we politically oppose in the ANC are their representatives and if we continue fighting among ourselves, these representatives of white monopoly capital will ascend to position(s) of leadership.
“That is why unity in opposing this political apocalypse is paramount,” he said. - Sapa