Time to talk about leadership: Malema

21 December 2011 - 13:41 By Sapa

Suspended ANC Youth League president Julius Malema says it is time to talk about the succession debate in the ruling party or things will get "messy", The Star reported on Wednesday.

Julius Malema and Jacob Zuma. File picture.
Julius Malema and Jacob Zuma. File picture.
Image: The Times
Julius Malema and Jacob Zuma. File picture.
Julius Malema and Jacob Zuma. File picture.
Image: The Times

“We are calling on the national leadership to open the debate on leadership, towards the ANC's centenary. It's already being discussed. It will get messy if the ANC is not involved in guiding the debate,” said Malema at a closed session shortly after he was elected onto the ANC's Limpopo provincial executive committee.

His close ally Cassel Mathale was re-elected as provincial chairman at the same conference.

Malema received 592 votes out of 1 088 votes cast to secure his place at number 17 out of 20 people elected.

Malema's new political appointment comes after the embattled lague president told the Sunday Times in November this year that he was "finished politically" and intended to take up cattle farming.

Malema is appealing his suspension from the league after he was found guilty of sowing division and bringing the ANC into disrepute by the party's national disciplinary committee.

Prior to the ANC's last national elective conference in 2008, Malema vowed to "kill for Zuma" as he faced off against Thabo Mbeki for the position. Zuma was subsequently voted in as party president.

During last week's Limpopo conference Malema seemed to make his disapproval of Zuma clear after he joined in the singing of derogatory songs that labelled Zuma the "shower man". Malema also held his hand over his head in the gesture of a shower head.

Cartoonist Zapiro has attached a shower head to Zuma in his depiction of him ever since Zuma told a court during his 2006 rape trial that he took a shower after having had unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman to prevent infection.

Zuma was later acquitted.

A new president for the ANC is due to be elected in Mangaung in December 2012.

Following Malema's suspension in November this year, he said that it had come about because some people in the party were irritated with him and his colleagues.

"Others were no longer able to tolerate us, but others just feared change - change in policy [and] change in leadership," he said.

Five other youth league leaders were also sanctioned by the party's disciplinary committee.

On Tuesday Mathale said there were no "supreme members" in the ANC, not even Zuma.

"We must never lose sight of the fact that we cannot all lead at the same time. This is a reality that we must not forget," said Mathale.