South Africa's ANC on Wednesday slammed "misguided" opposition claims that the storied ruling party's support could drop to under 60 percent in upcoming elections.
The ANC's youth league accused Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko of living in "lala-land" after she told AFP that the African National Congress will be hammered in 2014 polls.
It insisted voters will not desert the party, saying it will get an "overwhelming mandate" to stay in power.
The party did not put forward a figure on the ANC's ballot box prospects.
But it went on the attack.
"She has the audacity to believe that the people of South Africa will switch a well deserved and long-held allegiance to the African National Congress to the liberal, racist and irrelevant Democratic Alliance", it said.
In an interview, Mazibuko said the ANC will win the vote but will "take a hammering" in a repeat of the 2011 local polls when its share of voters dwindled.
She predicted a fall into the 50 percent range for the first time since democracy in 1994.
The DA is gunning for an unprecedented 30 percent of 2014 votes, amid impatience over the ANC's performance and a series of scandals surrounding President Jacob Zuma.
Mazibuko, the party's most senior black official, is frequently in the firing line of critics.
The ANCYL in its latest energetically worded statement dismissed her as a "young girl" and "filled with self-inflicted delusions of grandeur".
It also revived an oft-lobbed term of "madam" to describe the DA's white leader Helen Zille, a derogatory reference to apartheid relationships between blacks and whites.