The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) has expressed its shock and disappointment at the resignation of its president Collen Maine as an ANC MP on Friday saying he had not appraised the league of his resignation.
The league added that Maine’s decision affected its popular call for 20% youth representation in senior government structures.
Maine has since cited personal reasons for leaving just 44 days after he was sworn in.
The youth leader has resigned alongside former Buffalo City mayor Zukisa Faku amid a growing list of ANC MPs tendering their resignations.
MPs Bathabile Dlamini, Jeff Radebe, Susan Shabangu, Tokozile Xasa, Nomaindia Mfeketo, Dipuo Letsatsi Duba and Siyabonga Cwele previously announced that they were leaving Parliament after some of them failed to make it to the executive Cabinet.
ANCYL spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize told Independent Media that neither the officials nor the National Working Committee of the ANCYL were aware of Maine’s decision to resign.
“We do not know why he resigned and his resignation really comes at a bad time because it affects the 20% youth representation that the Youth League has called for. This means we are no longer going to be in control of who gets in, we can no longer be able to say it must be a young person because the processes, as we understand them, dictate that the ANC cannot reshuffle the list and they will have to wait for at least a year,” Mkhize said.
He added this meant that Maine would be replaced by someone older with the political implication being that the young lions would lose a portion of their influence in Parliament.
Contacted for comment, Maine remained tight-lipped on what his next move would be and said: “They (reasons) are private. There is nothing on the plate for now.”
Maine was snubbed for a cabinet position while the league’s secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza was appointed deputy minister of home affairs.
On Friday Nzuza refused to comment on Maine’s resignation saying he had been deployed by the ANC and had no idea what happened (leading to Maine’s resignation).
Maine, who remains the president of the ANCYL, despite the structure’s term of office having ended last year, has also faced criticism for the decline of the ANCYL during his tenure at the helm of the youth wing of the ruling party.
Calls have continued to grow in several parts of the country, including KwaZulu-Natal, for the ANCYL’s structures at national, provincial and regional levels to be disbanded with some saying the structures had long reached the expiry of their terms of office.
Last month, in the middle of calls for the Maine-led ANCYL to be dissolved, the league claimed that its Twitter account had been hacked with the tweets reading “Only I have a password - Oros can’t log me out. DISBAND NOW!!” and “We are protecting people from themselves - by our principled call to disband the ANCYL”.
Faku refused to comment on her reasons for resigning saying, “I don’t want to talk to the media, please leave me alone. For now, I don’t want to speak.”