Julius Malema

President, ANC Youth League

Love him or hate him � and many just love to hate him � Julius Malema just had to make our list of 300 Young South Africans you have to take to lunch. It's not a popularity contest but even if it was, Malema would probably win. Because any way you slice it, you can't argue with the fact that, at 28, he is one of the most powerful politicians in the country and one of the youth who will be leading us into the next generation. Malema's gaffes have provided fodder to columnists and talk show hosts and his uncompromising attitude feeds the frenzy. Although he is seen as the ANC court jester who should not be taken too seriously, he is used by the ANC to flight controversial ideas. His pledge to "kill for Zuma� landed him in trouble with the Human Rights Commission, whose members at first hesitated at how to deal with him. He was sent home with an "understanding� that he would not use that phrase again because it incites violence, but was not punished in any way and not asked to apologise. Malema hails from rural Limpopo, and he passed his matric exam with a double GG in woodwork and an H in maths; another embarrassing public relations disaster for the youth league when these results were leaked to newspapers. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga came out in support of his poor matric record, proclaiming that academic qualifications are not important when you want to become a South African leader. He might be billed as unsophisticated and his outbursts may provide journalists with unbeatable quotes and headlines, but Malema's most impressive legacy is how he has managed senior leaders and organisations to dance to his tune. � Mandy Rossouw

Lunch spot: Panyaza, Soweto, Johannesburg