By Clive Ndou

The national ANC Youth League on Thursday said it had ordered its Eastern Cape provincial leadership to disband.

"The National Executive Committee of the ANC Youth League has resolved that in the interest of safeguarding the organisation from total collapse in the province an urgent intervention is necessary, and in this regard took a decision to disband the ANC Youth League Provincial Executive Committee of the Eastern Cape," said ANCYL

President Fikile Mbalula.

Briefing the media in Johannesburg on Friday, Mbalula said the decision to disband the organisation's provincial leadership was taken after the league's two-day National Executive Committee meeting that ended on Thursday.

"The NEC received a report on the state of the organisation in the Eastern Cape province and noted the weak state of the organisation in the province despite numerous interventions...," he


The provincial ANCYL is a well-known President Thabo Mbeki supporter and has recently endorsed the proposal that he stands as ANC presidential candidate after the expiry of his second term - a

position which the organisation's national leadership has vehemently opposed.

However, Mbalula maintained that the decision to disband the Eastern Cape provincial leadership has nothing to do with the provincial organisation's support for Mbeki.

"Although the ANCYL leadership in the Eastern Cape has come to be defined as part of a particular grouping, the NEC's decision to disband it was never influenced by that view.

"The provincial leadership has become so weak and if no action was taken this could have resulted in the total collapse of the organisation in the province," he said.

While the NEC meeting noted progress in many fronts, Mbalula said it was not impressed with the pace at which the Integrated Youth Development Strategy was being implemented.

He placed the blame for lack of delivery on this crucial strategy squarely on the door of the Minister in the Office of the Presidency Essop Pahad.

"This is due to intransigency and arrogance of the Minister in the Office of the Presidency," he said. - Sapa