Collen Maine
Durban - An internal battle has erupted within the ANC Youth League after its president Collen Maine claimed North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo introduced him to the controversial Gupta family.

At a memorial service of Struggle icon and ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Potchefstroom in the North West on Wednesday, Maine said it was Mahumapelo and not former president Jacob Zuma who introduced him to the Gupta brothers.

Maine expressed regret at associating with the Guptas and pleaded to members of the party not to accompany him to court should he be prosecuted.

“Comrades, if going there means that at some point I must appear in court, don’t follow me. You never said I must go there, take the ANC out of it,” Maine said.

On Thursday, ANCYL deputy general secretary Thandi Moraka slammed Maine, calling him a sell-out for admitting to the Gupta links and said he should step down.

Moraka was speaking at the ANC Women’s League memorial service for Madikizela-Mandela in Soweto.

She accused Maine of ingratiating himself to President Cyril Ramaphosa at the expense of the league and accused him of bringing the league into disrepute.

“We call on Collen Maine to resign as a matter of urgency. The president of the youth league comrade Collen Maine, in fact he does not deserve to be called a comrade because he is a sell-out of note.

“Immediately after Nasrec (ANC national conference), comrade Collen went to comrade Cyril and said to him that as a youth league we want to apologise for having supported comrade Nkosazana (Dlamini-Zuma),” he said.

“But that apology - we want to state it categorically clear - was not representing us as the youth of this country. We believed in comrade Nkosazana and we can’t be crucified for having supported a woman. So comrades we are here and comrade Collen said to people in Potchefstroom he was captured by the Guptas.”

Moraka accused Maine of lining himself up for deployment by Ramaphosa by ditching his previous faction.

“We can’t have a president of the ANC Youth League who goes and sings for supper from the leadership of the ANC.”

The Guptas were allegedly paying the bond for Maine’s multi-million rand home in Tshwane before they fled the country. It remains unclear how he is paying for the house, whose monthly costs are reportedly more than R100000.

ANCYL national spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize distanced the organisation from Maine’s admission to ties with the Guptas, saying they were personal.

“We don’t know about this. He never said when he was introduced, he just said he was introduced by who. So we don’t even know when he was introduced and what status he was introduced as,” he said.

Mkhize refused to say if the league also had ties with the Guptas, only saying, “I do not know any engagements that would have been of the youth league being introduced to any business people.”

The Mercury