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JOHANNESBURG: A group of former ANC Youth League national executive committee members, who served under Julius Malema, is plotting to recapture the league at next year’s elective conference.
Convinced that the ANCYL national task team has become a lapdog of a faction aligned with President Jacob Zuma, they have been holding “informal talks” to consolidate a list of candidates who would “protect” the league’s autonomy, culture and tradition.
Five former ANCYL NEC members told The Star that they have agreed to put their political rivalry and other differences aside to confront the national task team .
They accuse it of being a bunch of hand-picked “careerists” who are “not grounded” in the ANCYL’s politics and character.
They insist the task team has abandoned ANCYL conference resolutions, creating a fertile ground for Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to thrive on those policies.
Another said the national task team had allowed itself to be used to do the dirty work of its “handlers” ahead of the ANC’s 2017 national conference that would elect Zuma’s successor.
“They are being told what to do. They are not running an independent programme or what we can term a clearly defined programme of the youth league. They are becoming a clear lapdog of the ANC”.
ANCYL national task team convener Magasela Mzobe said on Monday the former NEC members should be the last people to criticise the national task team as it had been they who had “eroded” the youth league’s culture.
The youth league collapsed under their watch, because they had introduced a culture of praise-singing some ANC leaders while insulting others.
“We were put in precisely to undo the damage done during that period… to rebuild structures and inculcate a proper culture of the ANCYL and the ANC’,” Mzobe said.
Luthuli House would have been the first “to call us into order” if the national task team had gone astray, he said.
A former provincial ANCYL leader, however, accused Mzobe and his national task team colleagues of using the league to further their careers instead of re-building structures.
“They want to go to Parliament. They want to be deployed. They are not interested in rebuilding structures. You have people who don’t understand the youth league and never thought they could lead at that level, hence these disbandments. It’s just a display of excitement,” he said.
Another source was too disgruntled to even want to talk about developments in the ANCYL.
“I don’t even care what the national task team is getting up to. It’s not my worry. It’s not my business. I have got no interest whatsoever in their decisions, operations and all that,” she said.
Mzobe denied the national task team was under the sway of an ANC faction. “On numerous times, we took decisions which shocked the leadership of the ANC. The difference is that we don’t go out and insult people. I don’t report to anyone but the ANC”.