The ANC Youth League lambasted former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota’s utterances on the possibility of forming a new political party.

“The possible formation of the political party by Ntate Lekota and Mluleki George, who think they are anointed born leaders will represent nothing but narrow right-wing opportunism of people who want to express bitterness, self-enrichment and disrespect of organisation principles,” its president Julius Malema said on Thursday.

He was addressing a media briefing in Woodmead after discussing the matter with members of the league’s National Executive Committee (NEC).

The league said its NEC discussed the statement made by Lekota and believe he “and his friends have defined themselves outside the constitutional principles and structures of the ANC”.

On Wednesday, Lekota announced that an announcement could be made within a month on the formation of a new political party. But the league is adamant that they will not lose any sleep over the formation of a “right-wing” political party as it poses no threat to their membership.

“Supporters of the ANC will never vote for that party or any other party because if they are angry they just don’t vote at all.”

On the issue of Lekota failing to attend a scheduled meeting with the ANC NEC on Thursday, Malema said: “This is arrogance and disrespect of the ANC leadership”. This appeared to be contrary to treasurer general Mathews Phosa’s conciliatory stance on Wednesday. “The ANC is not going to fire a bullet at its members. We are more interested in uniting ANC members so a member who feels a need to throw stones needs to reflect,” he said.