CAPE TOWN – ANC Youth League president Julius Malema's views on the nationalisation of mines are his own and are not the policy of the ANC, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.
"Mr Malema like any other South African had the right to his views," Zuma said in reply to a question in the National Assembly.
"His views are his views.
"Historically the ANC Youth League has had very strong views. It does not mean these views will be accepted."
Zuma said the African National Congress's policies emerged out of "vigorous discussions".
"We don't have a nationalisation policy as the ANC," Zuma said.
"If this issue causes such excitement, then debate it with Mr Malema. He is there."
On Wednesday Malema told Parliament's portfolio committee on mineral resources during public hearings on establishing a state-owned mining company, that he predicted that placing all mining rights and resources in state hands would become ruling party policy in 2012.
He also urged an immediate moratorium on the issuing of mining licences to prevent private companies from "looting" mines before they were nationalised, which he said was inevitable.