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Anti-Indian group man’s bid for top job

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Independent Newspapers

Durban - One of the leaders of the controversial anti-Indian group, the Mazibuye African Forum, is making a bid for the influential position of ANC Youth League president – expected to be contested at the national conference later this year.

While the process of nominating and lobbying for positions is not formally under way, league members are already hard at work lobbying for various candidates

Phumlani Mfeka’s supporters have launched a campaign for the top position which was left vacant following the axing of former league president Julius Malema.

Mfeka shot to prominence recently after his anti-Indian comments and actions earned him an investigation by the Human Rights Commission, and later his arrest together with a group of 44 other people.

He is one of the founding members of Mazibuye, a pressure group which has been advocating for – among other things – Indians to lose their BEE status.

He was arrested late last year when he and a group of supporters picketed outside Favours Cash and Carry in Phoenix, protesting against what they called exploitation of black workers by Indian bosses.

An earlier column in a national newspaper – in which Mfeka referred to Mahatma Gandhi as a “super racist” – was deemed to be offensive by some members of the public, who later asked the South African Human Rights Commission to investigate.

The body said it had completed the investigation and would release its findings this week.

While the ANC has dissociated itself from the policies of Mazibuye, Mfeka labels himself a loyal ANC member from a family of political activists.

Despite his polarising and controversial stances, Mfeka is being branded by lobbyists as the one who can unite the divided ANC Youth League.

A document being circulated by Mfeka’s supporters states: “The current political environment in SA, and particularly within the ANCYL and the ANC as a whole, does call for a fresh, dynamic, intelligent candidate that has no ties with the past leadership of the ANCYL, that will rise above factionalism.”

Other front runners in the race for the league’s presidency include Magasela Mzobe, the current co-ordinator of the league’s interim leadership structure, the national task team (NTT).

Mfeka’s supporters, however, believe Mzobe might not enjoy much support on the ground, although they concede that his involvement in the current leadership “does give him the edge to sway certain structures to vote for him”.

Some structures, including the Harry Gwala region in KwaZulu-Natal, have already come out in support of Mzobe.

Asked for comment, Mfeka said: “Comrades from different provinces have approached me to avail myself. However, one cannot comment until the branches pronounce.”

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