ANC Youth League members marching outside the ANC head office Luthuli House demanding that the ANCYL conference be held as soon possible because it has been postponed since 2018. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)
Johannesburg - Disgruntled members of the ANC Youth League have threatened the ANC with legal action if it refused to disband the youth body’s national structure which they accused of destroying the organisation.

On Tuesday, the group marched on the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters in Johannesburg where they called on the governing party to immediately set up an ANCYL national task team which would prepare for the national conference and dissolve the current structure which was elected in 2015.

The discontented members - coming from different provinces, including Limpopo, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga - danced, chanted and burnt impepho as they demanded the attention of ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.

Speaking on behalf of the protesting group, Ngoako Selamolela from Limpopo said ANCYL president Collen Maine and his collective were occupying the organisation’s offices at Luthuli House’s seventh floor illegally as their term had ended last year and that the ANC had no choice but to tell them to pack their belongings as they were also over the ANCYL age threshold of 35 years.

“If the ANC leadership does not want to listen us, we know people who are more than willing to listen. There are institutions of this country that are designed to guard democracy. If people are running away from democracy, we will just frogmarch them to the South Gauteng High Court. This is a winnable case,” Selamolela said

A former president of the ANC-aligned South African Students Congress, Selamolela said the current national office bearers of the ANCYL had used the organisation to facilitate positions for themselves in the state instead of advancing youth interests.

“The youth league is very silent and its silence is very loud. It is silent on any issue except deployment.

Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

“For the last four years, all we have heard is 40% (youth representation in government deployment). All we have seen is leadership of the youth league deploying themselves into various positions,” Selamolela said.

Following the general elections, Maine and his deputy and Desmond Moela have been deployed as members of the National Assembly.

ANCYL secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza has been appointed Deputy Minister of Home Affairs by President Cyril Ramaphosa, while deputy secretary-general Thandi Moraka was appointed MEC for sports in Limpopo.

Maine has been accused of presiding over a toothless and unstable ANCYL run by task teams throughout the country.

Selamolela said the aggrieved ANCYL members did not recognise the current national structure as they had overstayed their mandate, which ended last year, rendering their stay in office illegal.

Political Bureau