Johannesburg - The ANC has defended its decision not to include young people in the newly-established ANC Youth League National Task Team (ANCYL NTT).
The NTT, led by ANC MP Thandi Mahambehlala as its convenor, was put together at the weekend after NEC members gave the green light for the disbandment of the ANCYL NEC, following protests by disgruntled members who complained that the youth structure was led by old people whose term of office had already expired.
The ANCYL’s mandate, under Collen Maine, ended late last year, when its national leaders failed to hold its national elective conference, as required by the party’s constitution.
The new 22-member task team includes Nomvula Mokonyane, Nathi Mthethwa, Fikile Mbalula, Malusi Gigaba, Pule Mabe and all the officials from the disbanded structure.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said the sidelining of young people from the NTT was aimed at ensuring they did not use the interim structure to campaign and lobby for themselves.
“We want to give them space to become leaders. We don’t want them to go and use this platform of the NTT to campaign and lobby and then at the same time become part of the leadership of the NTT.
“We no longer want people who are even 34 or 35 years old at that time.
“We want young people to lead the ANC Youth League. This NTT is there temporarily to ensure that the league goes to a conference,” Magashule said.
Disgruntled ANCYL members dubbed the “Revive ANCYL Movement” have, however, blasted the ANC, accusing NTT members of being “existentially incapable” of delivering a credible conference.
“They are old, are not members of the ANCYL and carry the inherent accusation of trying to sponsor ANC factional interests to the ANCYL,” the group said.
But ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said the NEC wanted to put in place people with organisational memory and task them with taking the ANCYL to its conference within the next six months.
Duarte used the post NEC press briefing held on Tuesday to reject claims that Magashule’s backers were plotting to oust President Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of the party’s national general council next year.
Duarte said no individual would likely succeed in pushing for Ramaphosa’s removal at the party’s NGC.
At the weekend, the party’s NEC also discussed the fate of senior member Derek Hanekom after he admitted to conspiring with the EFF in a bid to oust former president Jacob Zuma - a move which has resulted in calls for his expulsion from the ANC.
Duarte said officials of the party were instructed to first look into the matter and decide if it warranted further action.