Ace Magashule: File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency/ANA.

Johannesburg - ANC secretary general Ace Magashule has denied there are efforts to weaken the ANC Youth League ahead of its elective conference next month. 

Magashule said a task team had been put in place to try and help the youth league meet its mandate and hold a conference this year. 

He said the young lions had pleaded with the National Executive Committee (NEC) to assist them with challenges facing the organisation. 

He said the mandate was to make sure the youth league held a conference this year. 

"The ANC Youth League has officially met with the officials of the ANC and have pleaded that the NEC must assist them with whatever challenges they have and how to make the conference successful. The task team is there. We are working together and no one is going take the powers of the ANC Youth League away," said Magashule at a post-NEC briefing on Monday. 

Magashule's denial of an attempt to wrestle power away from the ANCYL comes days after rumours surfaced that there were attempts from some ANC members, aligned to former president Jacob Zuma, to influence the outcome of who was elected to replace Collen Maine as ANCYL leader. 

The Sunday Times reported that Magashule and other leaders, including Andile Lungisa, were part of a group aligned to Zuma that was plotting for ANCYL KwaZulu-Natal leader Thanduxolo Sabelo to be elected as the president of the youth league. 

The paper reported that Magashule was confronted about this by other youth league leaders who were lobbying for current ANCYL treasurer general Reggie Nkabinde to be elected as the league's president. 

Magashule also spoke about his relationship with ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa after it was alleged that he was plotting with Zuma to oust him. 

The former Free State premier said he had a strong relationship with Ramaphosa and that they would not allow rumours to destroy their relationship. 

"Me and President Cyril are working together. We are not focusing on rumours and perceptions. We are preoccupied with building this movement and the challenges facing our communities," said Magashule. 

Mahumapelo on PEC

Magashule also confirmed that former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo had declined his nomination to be included in the North West provincial task team. 

The PTT was appointed by the NEC after it took a decision to disband the provincial executive committee (PEC). 

Mahumapelo was forced to resign as the premier of the North West earlier this year following weeks of protests. 

"He (Mahumapelo) has actually declined to be part of the PTT. He has committed himself to respect the decision of the NEC. He will remain and member in good standing and remain active as a member of the ANC in his branch," said Magashule.

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