Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has denied that expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema was his political ally, the Sunday Times reported.
"Our detractors want people to believe that we are made by Malema and without Malema we are politically doomed," he said.
He was aware that under Malema's leadership, the league had called for Mbalula to become secretary-general.
Mbalula said that while he supported President Jacob Zuma at the last African National Congress conference in Polokwane, he did not become "a Zuma boy".
"I have led the youth league that said Zuma must become president, but I have never become a Zuma boy. Why should today it be that Julius is my boy? I think it is just scrap-yard mentality."
He would not say whether he was planning to stand for the position of secretary-general.
He condemned ANC leaders who attacked those who wanted Zuma removed, but did not take action against the president's supporters.
"Whenever people do the sign of change, they say those are people who must be butchered," he said.