* Ruling party to pick new leader in December
* Youth wing wants radical change to fix racial inequality
* ANC stalwarts Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma are frontrunners
By Joe Brock
JOHANNESBURG, Jan 10 (Reuters) - South Africa's ruling
African National Congress (ANC) needs a bold leader to launch a
"second revolution" redistributing wealth to the black majority,
said the head of the party's youth wing, which helped propel
President Jacob Zuma to power.
Zuma is expected to step down as ANC leader in December and
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the head of the African Union and Zuma's
ex-wife, along with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa are widely
seen as the two leading candidates to replace him.
But ANC Youth League President Collen Maine said the
candidate it would endorse to run for leader at a party
conference in December would send "shock waves" through the ANC,
suggesting the youth branch will not back either frontrunner.
"These candidates who have been mentioned are part of the
system. They have been part of the system we want to change,"
Maine told Reuters in an interview.
"We need bold leadership. We need a second revolution that
will cause ruptures in the economy."
Dlamini-Zuma, 67, and Ramaphosa, 64, are both anti-apartheid
activists and ANC stalwarts, though neither has declared their
intention to run for the ANC leadership at this point.
Given the party's dominance since the end of apartheid in
1994, whoever succeeds Zuma as ANC leader will most likely
replace him as the country's president too when elections are
held in 2019.
Maine, who has been a staunch defender of Zuma against party
critics, said every ANC leader had failed to deliver on the
promise to transform South Africa, which remains starkly unequal
more than two decades after the end of white-minority rule.
Maine said he wanted a new leader to take radical measures,
such as the redistribution of land, to disperse wealth from
white elites to the black majority, as well as to limit the
influence of foreign companies and give the poor free education.
"Our leaders have derailed the revolution. We were supposed
to get more than just the vote. We need to shake up the economy.
You don't have a revolution without pain," Maine said.
The Youth League was established in 1944 by ANC leaders
Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo and it became one
of the major disruptive forces in the fight against apartheid.
Under its last president, Julius Malema, the group was
instrumental in forcing out President Thabo Mbeki and installing
Zuma. Maine was elected youth leader unopposed in 2015, three
years after Malema was expelled for turning against Zuma.
Maine says the Youth League has 600,000 members and a
significant voting block at party conference, though the complex
leadership election process means it is unclear exactly how much
influence the group will wield come December.
Ramaphosa, who was once touted as a successor to Mandela,
would be first choice for many investors because his business
background suggests he will support more pro-business policies
than many in the traditionally left-wing ANC.
Dlamini-Zuma was regarded as a capable technocrat during her
time as South Africa's minister of home affairs from 2009 to
2012 and has since gained international exposure as the first
female head of the African Union.
The ANC's Women League endorsed Dlamini-Zuma last week and
President Zuma, who will have a major say in who succeeds him,
is also expected to back his ex-wife if she runs.
RAND SHOULD FALL
Maine has courted controversy by saying a sharp devaluation
of the rand currency would force South Africa to make tough
economic decisions and turn the tables on the white business
elite, even if it caused near-term pain for the general public.
South Africa's economy is barely growing and ratings
agencies have threatened to downgrade the country's sovereign
debt rating to "junk".
The policies espoused by Maine would spook financial markets
but he said in the interview with Reuters that should not be a
worry for politicians bent on change.
"We should not be concerned with markets. Once we hear the
rand is going to fall, or we are going to 'junk', we get very
nervous. Black people are already in junk," Maine said. "If some
white people want to leave South Africa, let them leave."
"Investors will not leave. They need South Africa."
Maine has also openly admitted to meeting several times with
the Gupta family, Indian businessmen close to Zuma who have been
accused of influencing cabinet appointments and winning
government tenders unfairly.
A report by a government watchdog found evidence that the
family held undue influence over government decisions. Zuma and
the Gupta family deny any wrongdoing.
"The only mistake the Guptas made was going into a space
reserved for white people," Maine said. "If you want to see who
has captured this country, look at white monopoly capital."
(Additional reporting by Nqobile Dludla; editing by David
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