Mabe eyes the hot seat
Reinstated ANC Youth League treasurer-general Pule Mabe is ambitious to become leader of the radical youth wing.
Mabe, who was removed from his position following a vote of no confidence in him at the league's national executive meeting last month, was reinstated after ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe reportedly intervened.
Speaking at the youth league's Gauteng general meeting on the University of Johannesburg's Soweto campus yesterday, Mabe seemed to confirm reports that he had ambitions to succeed the league's expelled president, Julius Malema.
"If you are a leader and you don't have ambition, then quit . Our members must be inspired that their leaders are not cowards. We have ambitions," said Mabe.
By giving him the stage, the ANC Youth League in Gauteng became the first province to show its support for Mabe after he was expelled from his position at a meeting that allegedly became violent.
His reinstatement could be a blow for Malema's hopes of making a comeback to the youth league, with other provinces, such as KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, having indicated that they do not approve of his leadership style after he disbanded their structures.
Yesterday, Mabe went so far as to compare himself to assassinated US leader Martin Luther King, who rose to power during the time of the oppression of blacks in that country.
"You are allowed to dream. You know why we are politicians? Because we have got dreams like Martin Luther King. We translate those dreams sometimes with ambitions; we make ourselves available to lead our structures."
Earlier yesterday, those at the meeting sang to show support for Mabe, and occasionally chanted slogans such as "Hands off Pule Mabe, hands off!"
Simon Molefe, the Gauteng ANC's deputy chairman, said the province had always supported Mabe and took a swipe at Malema.
"Anybody who disrespects the president of the ANC [Jacob Zuma] is disrespectful to all the members of the ANC," Molefe said.
"Comrade [Mabe] has been part of us and we will continue to make sure that people who have been expelled from the movement [Malema] don't run the organisation from their graves," Molefe said.
"We are not going to allow that. So no one must go and stay in his farm [in Polokwane] and hope that the youth league worship him continuously," he said.
Despite Mabe saying he had been reinstated as treasurer-general, youth league spokesman Magdalene Moonsamy said the league's NEC stood by its decision that he had been removed after a vote of no confidence.