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Durban - One of Bafana Bafana’s midfield generals has joined the ANC Youth League and will campaign for the ruling party in the May 7 elections.
Andile Jali, 23, seen as one of the most promising young players in the national football team, moved to Belgium club KV Oostende from Orlando Pirates in January.
Jali has been capped 15 times by the senior national team, including his most recent appearance against Brazil in Johannesburg.
He was involved in a car crash in his luxury Jeep SUV near Kokstad at the weekend and suffered a bruised arm. But he said the injury would not affect his game.
On joining the ANC he said: “What I have done is not because I have failed (in my career), but because I want others to join me where I am.
“The Belgium club has nothing to do with the political party and there is no policy against that,” he said.
Jali said he had one more game to play with his mid-table Belgian club before returning to Durban in April to assist with the youth league’s campaign to encourage young people to vote on May 7.
The ANC Youth League in eThekwini has announced other “signings” from the worlds of entertainment and sport.
These include Mbuso “DJ Sox” Sokhela, Thokozani “Lvovo” Ndlovu, Merlon “DJ Merlon” Mhlongo and Orlando Pirates soccer player Manti Moholo.
Kwaito musician Lvovo said his decision to join the youth league was “natural” because he had earlier been active in the SA Students Congress at the Durban University of Technology.
DJ Merlon did not believe aligning himself with the ANC would affect his career and said he wished that other musicians would publically endorse their parties.
Youth league regional secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo said league members would target nightclubs, gymnasiums and churches to encourage people to vote for the ANC.
They would be accompanied in the campaign by former youth league presidents Fikile Mbalula, Malusi Gigaba and Ronald Lamola.
The youth league in eThekwini has thrown its weight behind Premier Senzo Mchunu to be re-elected as provincial premier after the elections.
It also wants four former youth league leaders to be appointed to provincial government ministerial posts after the elections.