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Johannesburg - ANC Youth League delegates should refrain from singing songs that could divide the organisation, league president Julius Malema said on Saturday.
Malema was speaking at the organisation's Gauteng provincial congress in Boksburg, where he opened the provincial executive committee (PEC) elective meeting.
"When you sing in this congress, don't sing songs that you think are going to divide you. Don't sing about individuals, sing about heroes," he said.
"Singing about individuals leads us to be disappointed by individuals."
The start of the congress was held up for about four hours, with talks of a postponement doing the rounds.
Delegates started entering the hall at around 15:00, after it had been scheduled to start at noon.
The supporters of the two main contestants for the position of chair for the organisation in Gauteng were keeping separate from each other, with the larger group, supporting Lebogang Maile, singing and dancing in the parking area.
The group supporting Thabo Kupa hung around the conference hall before the congress started.
Maile was backed by the ANC chair in Gauteng Paul Mashatile, while Kupa got the nod from both Malema and Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane.
Malema told the delegates that the leadership was not there to back anybody.
"If you lose, don't blame us, and when you win don't say you've got the support of the leadership," he said.
"Talk to the delegates, do your work."
Malema said the organisation should prioritise policy and revolution above individuals, again asserting the ANCYL agenda of nationalisation of mines.
"Not only the mines. We must nationalise all monopolistic industries, including the banks," he said.
"If I say something wrong here, don't blame me, blame the ANC, because it is their policy," he said.
Malema climbed into the media saying they would not have been covering the Gauteng conference, but that they were only there because there was a possibility of a breakdown at the elective conference.
He said the government must regulate "unethical journalists".
"We are assaulted and vandalised by the media and we can't do anything," he said.
"They can destroy a person's future without fact."
He said editors and media owners should not try to get the government to discuss whether a media tribunal should be established, but how the tribunal should be set up to prevent future dictators from abusing it to kill media freedom.
"They are a danger to themselves and to their own press freedom," he said. "
"You (the media) are not elected and you will never be elected by the people of South Africa," he said.
Malema told delegates that they should fight for the ANCYL to keep its autonomy, even from the ANC.
"Don't contradict the policy of the ANC," he said. "But nobody takes away the autonomy of the ANCYL."
Mashatile, who provided the political context that the conference was taking place, told the delegates that they should not allow the congress to be disrupted.
"No matter what, you have to conclude the business of this conference successfully," he said.
"That includes that reports are discussed and adopted, the adoption of congress resolutions and indeed the election of a PEC as well as the closing address of the newly elected chairperson.
The conference was going on through Saturday night and the election results are expected to be made public on Sunday.