Rift in the Youth League deepens
The implosion of the ANC Youth League in KwaZulu-Natal looks set to continue, with some regional leaders now planning to set up another structure to take over the running of the province from the provincial task team (PTT) – which has the backing of the national leadership.
A leader in one of the league’s 11 regions in KZN on Tuesday said most regions were in favour of forming a “co-ordinating structure”, which would oversee the running of the league and prepare for the overdue provincial conference.
These regions are refusing to recognise the PTT as a legitimate structure and their latest move is a continuation of last year’s showdown between the league’s two camps: one supporting expelled league president Julius Malema, and another loyal to ANC president Jacob Zuma.
The provincial executive committee (PEC) of the league in KZN was dissolved last year by the national executive committee (NEC) – then led by Malema.
Members of the erstwhile PEC had irked Malema and his supporters in the NEC after they openly distanced themselves from some of the league’s programmes, including a demonstration outside ANC headquarters in support of Malema.
The pro-Malema PTT was then set up, but the PEC appealed this decision. But ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe recently referred the matter back to the NEC of the ANC Youth League.
The league’s national executive confirmed the disbandment of the PEC and the appointment of the PTT, and last week the NEC held a meeting with the regions where the decision to retain the PTT was communicated.
But some regions are opposed to this. Jomo Sibiya, the chairman of the league in eThekwini region confirmed last week’s meeting, but said there were talks to set up a new interim leadership structure – one in which the ANC would also be represented. Another youth leader confirmed this.
But critics of this move believe that it could compromise the league’s independence.
The league’s national spokeswoman, Magdalene Moonsamy, dismissed reports that the NEC had agreed to set up a new structure.
She said the league only recognised one structure in KZN. “That only structure is the PTT, everything else is just ambitions and rumours.”
“The PTT would remain to give guidance to the Youth League in KZN ahead of the conference,” she said.
Vukani Ndlovu, the convener of the provincial task team, said that those who were pushing for another structure were misinformed and lacked political education.
“We don’t know what sort of animal the structure that these people are now talking about is. This is just a distortion of the facts. We are guided by the national executive, which has confirmed the disbandment.”
Ndlovu said the provincial conference of the league would be held in July, and said that this had been delayed by the appeal by members of the former provincial executive committee.
He said the league would go to the conference as a united force, although there might be differences on leadership preferences, which is not unusual.
If the stand-off continues, the league in KZN could find itself with parallel leadership structures. In other provinces, such as Limpopo, a similar situation led to the league holding two conferences last month, organised by opposing factions. - Daily News