Youth leader of SA ruling party re-elected

Julius Malema, who sang a controversial apartheid-era song and favours mining nationalisation, "humbled" by result.

      Malema appeals to millions of young, disenfrenchised South Africans still living in abject poverty [EPA] 

    The youth wing of South Africa's ruling African National Congress has given its president, Julius Malema, for a second term, endorsing a proponent of mining nationalisation.

    The ANC Youth League, arguably the party's most powerful bloc, re-elected an unopposed Malema for another three-year term at its ongoing conference on Friday.

    Speaking to the Mail & Guardian newspaper, Malema said that he felt "humbled" by the result.

    "I'm humbled by the support that I got and the fact that the comrades have given me the mandate. I shall not disappoint," he said. 

    Long considered kingmakers within the ANC, the youth league has been used by senior members of the party to drive policy change and launch leadership races.

    Malema helped Jacob Zuma, the South African president, in his 2007 rise to power, although there has been friction between the two since, particularly over the issue of nationalisation.

    Zuma has dismissed the league's drives to nationalise mines in the world's biggest platinum producer and seize white-owned farms.

    Malema, the son of a domestic worker, has drawn the ire of whites for his singing of apartheid-era songs that advocate the shooting of white farmers.

    While his views may have unsettled foreign investors, he has won broad support from the millions of South Africans who are still mired in grinding poverty almost two decades after the end of apartheid.

    The four-day youth league conference has drawn about 6,000 delegates.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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