The ANC Youth League’s acting president, Ronald Lamola, on Friday said the organisation would remain militant despite the outcome of the ruling party’s national elective conference in Mangaung last month.
With ANC President Jacob Zuma defeating the league's presidential candidate Kgalema Motlanthe by an overwhelming majority, the power balance has shifted against the young lions.
The Mail & Guardian reported that the league had decided to tone down its rhetoric against Zuma in exchange for leniency from the ANC's national executive committee (NEC).
After a long battle, former ANCYL President Julius Malema was expelled from the ruling party and has since lost a lot of political support.
Lamola said no date had been set for the "national general council" that will elect a new president and fill key positions within the league.
He said the ANCYL decided to respect the decisions taken by the ANC in Mangaung.
“We have to support the elected leadership because it is the outcome of conference.”
Lamola said League members would continue to fight for economic freedom and added they were not scared to challenge the mother body.
“It will continue to be radical and militant because that is the role of the youth league.”
But the league's actions have been interpreted as bowing to political pressure - amidst fear that its leadership could be dissolved.
The newly elected ANC NEC will meet for the first time next Friday to discuss the party's operations.
In June 2012, the ANC's former NEC found no grounds to review the decision to expel Malema.
The sanction was imposed on Malema in November 2011 for sowing division in the party and bringing it into disrepute for remarks he made on bringing about regime change in Botswana.
Before the party’s national disciplinary committee decided to expel Malema, the ANC renegade told a group of students at Wits University that the ANC under Zuma’s leadership felt like a dictatorship.
ANCYL secretary general Sindiso Magaqa and spokesperson Floyd Shivambu were suspended.