Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training Mduduzi Manana says he's up for the position of ANCYL deputy president, if that's what youth league branches want. Photo: Kopano Tlape

Johannesburg - Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana will contest the ANC Youth League deputy presidency at its upcoming national conference.

Manana, a former ANCYL national executive committee member, is expected to run on the slate of ANC MP and the league’s former treasurer-general Pule Mabe, who is running for president.

Manana told The Sunday Independent that although he was unaware of league members lobbying for him to be deputy president he would avail himself if ANCYL branches nominated him.

“I joined the ANC and the ANCYL to serve. It’s not about me and what I want, it’s the decision of branches,” he said.

Last month, The Sunday Independent reported that ANCYL national co-ordinator Magasela Mzobe was also in the running for the position of league president, which has been vacant since EFF leader Julius Malema was expelled from the ruling party and the NEC he led disbanded.

Mzobe, a former SA Student Congress (Sasco) secretary-general, will field ex-Sasco president Mawethu Rune as a candidate for ANCYL secretary-general on his slate.

Rune will contest the position with Sicelo Mdletshe, who has been an ANCYL and Sasco member since the late 1990s.

The Sunday Independent understands that the league’s Dr Kenneth Kaunda District regional conference endorsed Mzobe for president and Rune for secretary-general.

The ANCYL has 53 regions across the country’s nine provinces.

Mabe’s lobbyists claim he has support in his home province Limpopo, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Western Cape and the Eastern Cape.

Although their lobbyists regard Mzobe and Rune as front-runners for the two top positions, some in the ANCYL are unhappy with their candidacy and claim they were only given the task of rebuilding the league after it was weakened by Julius Malema’s expulsion and the formation of the EFF.

Initially, members of the national task team, appointed by the mother body after the ANCYL NEC’s disbandment, were said not to harbour leadership ambitions and were expected not to contest leadership positions in the upcoming conference. They were accused of disbanding the league’s provincial and regional structures to secure positions for their preferred candidates, who would then return the favour in the contest for positions in the ANCYL’s national office in Luthuli House. Mzobe is national co-ordinator of the national task team while Rune is a member.

Mabe, his business partner Surprise Ramosa and former SA Social Security Agency and ANCYL spokesman Paseka Letsatsi face fraud, theft and money laundering charges for blowing R2.2 million in social grants money on high-end boutiques, home-theatre equipment, groceries and hardware supplies.

They will appear in court on August 7.

ANCYL sources claim that should Mabe, Manana and Mdletshe be successful, the new league leadership would push for the deputy minister to serve on the ANC NEC, as Mabe is already a member of the ANC NEC, which is the ruling party’s highest decision-making body between conferences. The league’s president and secretary-general are ex-officio ANC NEC members.

Mabe’s list also includes Joburg-based Thando Mahlambi for the deputy secretary-general position, and former Tshwane University of Technology students’ representative council president Kgopelo Phasha as treasurer-general.

National Youth Development Agency deputy chairman Kenny Mororong and former youth league deputy president Ronald Lamola have also been touted as possible candidates for ANCYL president.

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Sunday Independent