The ANC Youth League is eyeing changes to the property clause in the Constitution after its ardent push for the nationalisation of mines, the organisation's president Julius Malema said on Thursday.

"The ANCYL's view is that the property clause should be amended and that proper legislation should be passed by Parliament to regulate how the state should expropriate private property in the interests of the people," Malema told reporters at ANC headquarters, Luthuli House, in Johannesburg.

"We no longer want township and rural areas, we want our people to live as equals. Where there is land for settlement, lets get that land for our people to settle.

"It doesn't matter where that land is located. If it is in the beachfront of Cape Town [!!!!!!!], let's use this land for the benefit of our people and let's not sell it to the foreigners."

The government has admitted that the willing buyer, willing seller policy for land expropriation was not working.

Take it, or leave it

"We need a government that will say we're going to take this land then we will determine the price... take it, or leave it," he said.

An "unambiguous policy position" was needed for the state to take whatever land necessary for the people and itself decide on the compensation.

"Now we are in charge, it's no longer negotiated settlements... Through negotiated settlement, we said fine, we give you this and you can give us this. And the Boers agreed," referring to the negotiations during the transition to democracy.

"... why should we continue like we are still in a government of national unity. Its important that people know that the ANC is in power."

The ANCYL would push for a change in the ANC's policy position on land after the ANC national general council (NGC), being held in Durban from 20 to 24 September.

Malema appeared confident that nationalisation of the mines would be adopted as ANC policy, which would eventually inform government policy.

Malema said that 90 percent of those attending the NGC would be ANC delegates, and that the ANCYL would mobilise 70 percent of them to support this position.

The Freedom Charter

He again emphasised the importance of the Freedom Charter, used as a basis for his support of nationalising the mines, in formulating ANC policy.

"This extends to the resolution the NGC should take on banks, monopoly industries, land, housing... and all the Freedom Charter says we should realise."

The ANCYL wants the ANC to take on a much more "radical economic transformation programme".

"We are using the NGC as a launch event for this radical economic transformation," Malema said.

The ANCYL's aim is to take the ANC in an ideological direction to accomplish this.

It would then deal with the question of leadership.

"We are not starting with leaders. We are starting with programmes. We want a leadership that speaks to the programmes we are talking about.

"The leader who emerges... is a leader who will commit to radical economic transformation, transfer of wealth from minority to majority unashamedly.

"We will never embrace a person who still salutes imperialism and colonialism."

'Rest assured'

Malema also moved to allay fears about top ANC leaders being removed at the ruling party's upcoming national general council.

"There's nothing that poses a threat to this leadership, you can be rest assured [sic]," he said.

"If there's anybody we want to remove in the NGC, we will tell you we want to remove this one.... There's no resolution of the youth league to remove anybody."

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), an ANC ally, earlier this year raised concerns about a plot to remove ANC president Jacob Zuma and secretary general Gwede Mantashe at the NGC.

Media reports have also indicated that Zuma has fallen out of favour with the ANCYL, who helped catapult him to the ANC presidency. The growing dissatisfaction was over, among other things, his comments on the nationalisation of the mines.

Malema blamed the media for "peddling" information about leadership --reports were "thumbsuck[ing]".

"President Zuma remains our president until 2012, as to what will happen in 2012 will be decided by 2012 conference of the ANC.

"President Zuma will be defended by us for as long as he's still president."

Malema said only those who "suffered from lack of self confidence" and were "paranoid" were panicking about the leadership question.

"Some of them call us children, 'these children they are going to remove us'. They forget it's the same children who have put them there.

"When they were going through difficulties both in their political life and personal lives, the youth league defended them.

"Some of them were going through courts... children supported them in Pretoria courts. Today they go to papers and say, 'hey children... you forget, its' nice now. There's no longer Thabo Mbeki who's chasing you, it's nice," he said.

"It was children who made you... it was children who brought you back into the leadership structures of the ANC." [No. Generally, children respect their elders. You are a thug. And you're nearly 30]

The ANC NGC is a mid-term policy review and is the highest decision-making body between national conferences. It will see around 2000 delegates gather, fewer than 100 delegates would be from the ANCYL.