Not interested! Tony Yengeni snubs ANC Veterans League conference

Tony Yengeni. File picture: African News Agency (ANA).

Tony Yengeni. File picture: African News Agency (ANA).

Published Jul 30, 2023


Former ANC national executive committee member Tony Yengeni says he will no longer be attending the 3rd ANC Veterans League conference.

"I will not be going to the conference. No right thinking person would go to the closing of a conference. To do what? I've never heard of such in my life," Yengeni told IOL on Saturday evening.

His comments follow reports that he had been barred from attending the conference or contesting for a position in the top five leadership of the structure.

Yengeni was set to go up against veteran Snuki Zikalala for the position of President but could not do so as it emerged that his credentials did not meet the set requirements.

In his earlier comments to the media, ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula described the matter surrounding Yengeni's participation as 'distorted.'

"Tony is not a delegate at this conference. He has not been appointed by any structure of the Veterans League to attend the conference such that he can argue delegates status. You don't just wake up in your house and define your status as a delegate without due processes. He is invited because all former NEC members of the ANC, ministers have been invited in the opening and the closing ceremony. He is invited to come and listen here in the opening session," Mbalula had said.

WATCH: Fikile Mbalula speaks on Tony Yengeni’s participation at ANCVL Conference

He added: "He (Yengeni) is recognised as a former leader of the ANC. We accord him the right status. If he is elected by the veterans to lead then that will be the decision of the veterans. Therefore he has not been barred. It's a big distortion...he's not a delegate. There are many other veterans that would love to be here but are not here because their status has got to go through the branches of the veterans in the different provinces. If he was duly nominated and mandated by the structure of the conference he would be here."

But Yengeni hit back and questioned why certain people were only allowed to come on certain days indicating that the manner in which the conference had been handled was seemingly divisive.

While Zikalala was elected as the League's President unopposed at the conference held at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg, Yengeni, a staunch RET supporter, indicated that his work in the ruling party would not diminish amid the outcome.

"I'll continue to work for the ANC. I believe the ANC must remain the voice of the poor. It must remain the champion of the poor. That's what I'm committed to ensuring," Yengeni said.

Kgalema Motlanthe at announces the top two leaders at the ANCVL conference in Boksburg. Picture: Itumeleng English/ African News Agency (ANA).

Meanwhile, Motlanthe said the Veterans League had to be above tussles within ANC structures.

"The (ANC) NEC expects that when they miss a step, these veterans will be able to call them out and correct them. That's a huge role to play inside the ANC," he added.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to give a keynote address at the closing of the conference on Sunday.

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