EXPELLED ANC Youth League president Julius Malema regrets campaigning for President Jacob Zuma's election, according to a report on Thursday.
"My only regret was to campaign for Zuma, and I apologise dearly," Malema told The Star newspaper.
He also rejected Zuma's idea of a "second transition", which several media reported had also been rejected by the ANC policy conference underway in Midrand.
"To wake up in the morning and announce you are now in a second transition, like you're announcing the second birthday of a child, is politically incorrect and lacks ideological clarity," said Malema.
A document on the second transition is one of the ANC's 13 policy documents under discussion at the four-day conference.
Zuma said in opening the conference on Tuesday that the second transition would make the country a "true democratic developmental state... which has a number of instruments it can use to facilitate change".
The first transition was still important because it had ushered in an era of democracy in South Africa.
"The time has come to do something more drastic to accelerate change towards economic transformation and freedom."
Zuma asked delegates to discuss the notion of a second transition when dealing with the strategy and tactics document.
"It is time to ask questions about the present and future... the last 18 years was the first transition. We are calling for a dramatic shift... to deal with the triple challenge[s] of poverty, unemployment and inequality," said Zuma.
Malema accused Zuma of hijacking the ANC Youth League’s economic freedom campaign by dressing it up in new clothes of a “second transition”
He said the only way for Zuma to remain relevant “was to address the economic challenges confronting our people, a matter he has been denying”.
“We raised the issue of white males controlling the economy, but we were called racist. (Now) he is repeating it,” Malema said.
This was a reference to Zuma saying at the conference that ownership of the economy remained largely in white men’s hands – and counted among the obstacles to ending poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Malema said it was the league that had first raised many of the issues Zuma had referred to in his speech during its economic freedom campaign, which calls for nationalisation of the mines and other economic sectors and the expropriation of land without compensation.
Malema said Zuma was “not acknowledging (that) these views were raised by the youth league”.
“It’s as if I was expelled (so that Zuma) could shine on the issues we have raised,” Malema claimed.
Zuma this month shut the door on any chances of Malema’s expulsion being reviewed by the national executive committee of the ANC.