The newly-elected ANC Youth League president, Collen Malatji has taken a swipe at EFF leader Julius Malema, saying he got the boot back in 2012 because he lacked discipline and violated the ANC constitution.
This weekend, ANCYL delegates elected Malatji as their first president in eight years, entrusting him with the responsibility of embarking on a journey of renewal and revival.
The last elected ANCYL president was Collen Maine, before they struggled to hold any conferences and a number of task teams were formed to stabilise the youth wing of the ANC.
Malatji said Malema, who served as ANCYL president between 2008 and 2012, was fired due to ill-discipline as he "violated the constitution of the party" during his reign.
He also accused Malema of wanting to turn the ANCYL into a cult that belonged to him like he does with his party.
According to Malatji, members of the EFF do not have a say in organisational processes, saying only Malema called the shots.
He vowed to take action against ill-disciplined members and said he would strive to run a youth league that operated within the ANC constitution.
“Here in the ANC you are allowed to bring your books, that is why we have policy conferences, meetings and even went further during the local government elections to open for our candidates to our communities,” he said.
He emphasised that the youth league was not a cult organisation, hence anyone with ill-discipline was expelled.
Addressing other matters, Malatji said they want a 50/50 split in Parliament where young people will also feature and have a say.
He said it was important to empower the youth by giving them powers and to learn the ropes.
This comes after almost a decade of being absent from the political platform.
The newly elected ANCYL leadership addressed the media at the ANC headquarters, Luthuli House, Johannesburg, on Monday following its 26th national elective conference that took place at the Nasrec Expo Centre this past weekend.
They are now facing the enormous task of honouring Ramaphosa’s challenge to spearhead the election campaign.
Part of the tasks given to the leadership included mobilising young people for a decisive victory for the ANC in 2024.
In addition, it includes dealing with the high unemployment rate, inequality and gender-based violence (GBV) that is taking over the country.
The leadership said the journey of ensuring the ANCYL works for the people has begun, and they’ll tackle the challenge.
Malatji stated that the role of the new leadership was to reach out to young people across the country and unite them.
“We are not going to be apologetic. If the majority of South Africans are not full participants in their own economic activities of their own country, they are dead,” he said.
He said it would be impossible for the young people to lead the country when they face of poverty, crime and unemployment, while all the good things belonged to the minority.
“We are going to fight for the restructuring of our own economy. We are part of the renewal of the movement,” he maintained.
He said the ANCYL would address the problems facing young people in order for the country to be fully functional, economically and socially.