18/12/2011 Suspended ANCYL President sings after Cassel Mathale was declared the ANC Limpopo Chairperson during a conference that was held at University of Limpopo: Turfloop. Picture: Phill Magakoe

 Conference chairman and ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga brushed off criticism of Julius Malema’s nomination as a Limpopo provincial executive committee additional member, saying on Monday that the ANC Youth League leader’s nomination was not unconstitutional.

 Malema’s election was widely expected despite concerns from some delegates who expressed outrage over his possible inclusion in the ruling party’s provincial leadership.

 They questioned the constitutionality of Malema’s nomination and inclusion. Election results for additional provincial executive committee (PEC) members hadn’t been announced by the time of going to press.

 The Star has learnt that on Sunday night, during a tense session in which nominations were cast for the additional members of the PEC, delegates opposed to Malema brazenly expressed dissatisfaction with what they perceived to be an abuse of power by provincial ANC chairman Cassel Mathale, who was pushing hard to secure the embattled young lion’s political future.

 Earlier during that same session, a delegate stood up and accused Motshekga of bias towards Malema.

 When questioned on the constitutionality of Malema’s nomination, given that he was a member of the ANC’s 90-strong national executive committee and the leader of its youth league, Motshekga said: “Other members who are part of the PEC and leaders of other leagues, like the (ANC) women’s and veterans’ leagues, were nominated. The ANC constitution doesn’t prohibit it (serving on different levels of party structures).”

 He said the constitution allows members “equal opportunity, rights and obligations”.

 On proposals to change the ANC’s constitution, which was widely seen as a move by the Mathale camp to put measures in place which will protect him, Motshekga said those issues would be dealt with during the party’s policy conference in May. But ultimately, the ANC’s all-powerful national general council would decide.

 It was up to the provincial leaders to guide the conference, Motshekga said in response to delegates’ plans to push for the conference to pass a resolution for leadership change at the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung next year.

 The national executive committee has addressed this issue and approved the national leadership nomination process.

 Motshekga said he couldn’t comment on the possibility that Malema intended to approach the constitutional court to rule on the validity of his suspension by the ANC.

 The conference ends Tuesday. The provincial leadership was to host a rally at the Limpopo University’s sports ground.

 Neither President Jacob Zuma’s spokesman Mac Maharaj nor ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu could confirm that Zuma would close the conference. - Political Bureau