July 08 2010 at 01:57PM Get IOL on your
mobile at m.iol.co.za
By Sibusiso Ngalwa
Julius Malema's leadership has been spared an embarrassing court case, while the stage has been set for a showdown between his backers and those of his deputy Andile Lungisa in the Eastern Cape this weekend.
The provincial conference is expected to take place in Grahamstown, from Friday.
The breakthrough in the stand-off - which saw two conferences being aborted and led to the dissolution of the provincial executive committee (PEC) - came after an intervention by Luthuli House.
This is after the defiant PEC, led by provincial chairperson Mlibo Qoboshiyana, went to court to challenge their dissolution by the Malema-controlled youth league national working committee (NWC), also citing lack of action from the mother body.
Continues Below ↓
On Wednesday ANC secretary- general Gwede Mantashe met disbanded PEC members |and members of the league's national leadership in East London. After a lengthy meeting, it was decided that a "political solution" be found.
Mantashe had been sent by the ANC leadership to ask the PEC to withdraw their court action and to go to a conference this weekend.
However, some Eastern Cape youth leaders are sceptical about the deal and went into a late night "strategy" meeting to decide the way forward.
The court case was set for a hearing on Thursday, but it is expected that the PEC will instruct their lawyers to withdraw their application to give the ANC a chance to resolve their problems.
The league's NWC will also meet on Thursday to discuss some of the issues. Another meeting between Malema's NWC and the PEC will take place tomorrow to try and resolve their differences.
The much-anticipated provincial conference will become a litmus test for Malema as it will indicate the extent of his support within the league. Already he is loathed by the PEC who called him an "embarrassment" in court papers.
While millions of South Africans will be glued to their TV screens watching the final match of the 2010 World Cup on Sunday, many in the ANC will be keeping tabs on the outcome of the provincial conference.
The conference will also be the springboard for Lungisa's campaign to challenge Malema for the youth league's presidency at the national conference next year.
Meanwhile, former Limpopo youth chairman Lehlogonolo Masoga - a former Malema ally and now his sworn enemy - is said to be "weighing his options" following a similar request by the ANC for him to withdraw his court action.
At a meeting with ANC leaders in Limpopo, it was generally agreed that Masoga would drop his case in return for the disrupted Makhado conference to be reconvened and the charges against him be dropped.
Masoga also went to court to stop his pending expulsion from the youth league, after a disciplinary committee recommended that he be removed.
But now the "negotiated settlement" seems to have hit a snag after Malema rejected the deal. Masoga is expected back in court on Monday.
This article was originally published on page 5 of Cape Argus on July 08, 2010