(File image) Julius Malema. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

A week after yet another defeat, the ANC Youth League is expected to meet next Friday to hatch a plan to save Julius Malema and his suspended colleagues Sindiso Magaqa and Floyd Shivambu.

The Sunday Independent understands that the youth league will take the fight to the ANC branches that would have the power to have the case reviewed at the party’s Mangaung elective conference, despite the ruling party’s declaration that the matter is closed.

Malema himself is criss-crossing the country in his fight with Zuma. Last Friday, he was in Limpopo and today he will be in the Free State. On at least two occasions, Malema has failed to have his expulsion rescinded. The national disciplinary committee of appeals upheld his expulsion while the ANC said there were no strong grounds to review the case.

Three youth league NEC members said the organisation would carry on lobbying branch members and use public discussion to drum up support for their case to have Malema reinstated. However, this could prove difficult as Malema – unlike his predecessors – is not likeable in the mother body’s structures.

The sources said the youth league would also carry on campaigning for Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula to replace ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to take over from President Jacob Zuma at the Mangaung conference.

“These old men are vicious. (President Jacob) Zuma wants a second term at all costs. He is vicious. But we are going to take them head on until Mangaung,” said a youth league leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the ANC has banned the succession debate until October.

The trio’s case was discussed at a heated ANC NEC meeting last Monday. In Gauteng, the battle for the soul of the ANC has turned ugly, with youth league provincial leaders first disbanding its Joburg region, which was seen to be pro-Malema.

The Joburg region organised the lecture, held at Wits University late last month, where Malema called Zuma a dictator.

Sunday Independent