Pretoria - Divisions on who should lead the newly “rebuilt” ANC Youth League are to blame for the possible delays in the youth league’s national upcoming national congress, which is expected to take place next month.
Some members of the league’s national task team say the September deadline given by the ANC NEC may not be realistic and will not be met in all likelihood.
This as former treasurer and ANC MP Pule Mabe and league co-ordinator Magasela Mzobe campaign for control of the league.
The delays and jostling for positions take place as the national task team (NTT) of the league prepares for its meeting this coming weekend. The ANC’s national working committee is also expected to discuss the league when it meets on August 13. The league has been undergoing a “rebuilding” exercise since its disbandment following the expulsion of Julius Malema, and is expected to elect a full time leadership after about 18 months without a structure.
“The conference is supposed to be at the end of September but we’re unlikely to achieve that. But there is a NTT meeting this weekend where all provincial leaders will meet to give us further direction,” said a member of the NTT.
The names of former league deputy president Ronald Lamola and the Young Communist League’s Mawethu Rune are also being bandied about, with the latter expected to be a compromise presidential candidate should Mabe not stand.
The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and the City of Johannesburg regions of the league have already pronounced on Lamola for the position of president.
“Lamola is not so quiet now and he is trying to campaign for president. But the provinces and the NTT are divided. Certainly the divisions are part of the delays, this is a messy time,” said the member.
On the leadership race, he said should Mabe not run in the end, Lamola would most likely be his replacement.
Mzobe, who is the league’s national co-ordinator, said talks of delays and divisions were unfounded. “The NTT is not expected to nominate who must lead the ANCYL. So it cannot be divided by something that does not belong in its jurisdiction. Branches of the ANC in their vast majority will decide who must lead,” said Mzobe.
He said the league was in fact “doing very well”.
“More than 35 regions have had their regional congresses. Four provinces have already had their provincial congresses, so we are going to meet our deadline,” said Mzobe.
Siboniso Dum, of the KwaZulu Natal provincial task team and league spokesman, said he didn’t qualify to run for leadership, but would support anyone who could unify the league. “We need someone who is a unifier and someone with a big heart. Whoever has the credentials must lead,” said Duma.
He said organisationally, the decline started when Malema was still the president. “Julius and them got the resources and that collective that collapsed the youth league who were owing something like R28 million,” said Duma.
Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana will also contest the ANC Youth League deputy presidency.