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ANC attempts to rein in maverick youth leader

South Africa's ruling ANC tried to bring its Youth League leader Julius Malema to heel at a meeting yesterday after the populist politician embarrassed the party by calling for the nationalisation of mines and meddling in foreign affairs.

The meeting may temporarily silence the outspoken Mr Malema but it will be difficult to keep down a man expected to be a power broker when the ANC elects its top officials at a party gathering next year. Analysts say his call to nationalise mines and seize white-owned land struck a chord with poor blacks who make up the majority of the population.

The ANC blasted the Youth League for its call to overthrow the democratically elected government in neighbouring Botswana. "The African National Congress would like to totally reject and publicly rebuke the ANC Youth League on its extremely thoughtless and embarrassing pronouncements on 'regime change' in Botswana," it said. reuters