Johannesburg - The ANC Youth League enters the new year on tenterhooks with the ANC’s newly elected national executive committee (NEC) poised to launch an investigation into the conduct of its leadership.
The new NEC – which meets in Durban on Friday for the first time since its members were elected at the ANC’s Mangaung conference last month – has been given a mandate to look into the youth league’s leadership, assess its performance and decide on a way forward for the beleaguered organisation.
At Mangaung, the ANC in Mpumalanga called on the ruling party to disband the league’s national executive, sparking a robust debate in one of the closed plenary sessions at the conference.
While the call was not endorsed by delegates, the future of the current leadership of the league is in the balance.
A league leader, a member of its national executive, said the ANC’s NEC would probably focus on the party’s January 8 statement, to be delivered by President Jacob Zuma at a rally in Durban on Saturday, so a decision on the league would not be expected.
The NEC also has long list of other matters to discuss.
“The January 8 statement is after all an NEC statement. But there will be those (in the NEC) calling for the disbandment of the youth league. So there are concerns around that,” the member said.
“But they won’t dissolve the league. Disbandment may be of the youth league NEC, but not the entire league.”
One possibility was that the ANC’s NEC would appoint a special task team to deal with the youth league.
The league is weighing its options on how to go about filling the vacancies left by the expulsion from the ANC of its president, Julius Malema, and the suspensions of its spokesman, Floyd Shivambu, and secretary, Sindiso Magaqa.
Shivambu and Magaqa were given three-year suspensions, with Magaqa’s being suspended for three years, provided he didn’t violate ANC disciplinary rules again.
Plans to ask delegates to the ANC’s Mangaung conference to review Malema’s expulsion failed, leaving the former youth league leader in the political wilderness.
The league’s first option would be to call a special congress to elect a new president and fill the other vacancies.
Another option would be to hold a national general council (NGC) and elect members to fill the vacancies.
A third option would be to have a special NEC meeting that could take a decision and elect replacements.
“So the options are there,” said the NEC member.
“Last year we asked the provinces and regions to hold off their conferences, so we could combine those.”
Former National Youth Development Agency chairman and youth league NEC member Andile Lungisa said that he didn’t expect the ANC leadership to take a decision on the league any time soon.
“Maybe a little later on in the year, but that (disbandment) won’t happen.”
Lungisa said options on how the leadership vacancies would be filled still had to be discussed by the league.