President Jacob Zuma. File picture: Dumisani Sibeko, Independent Media
Johannesburg - As the drama intensifies around President Jacob Zuma’s expected departure from office, the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in Gauteng has called on its national structure to move on and disband its support for him.

ANCYL, the ANC Women’s League and Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association have been Zuma’s staunchest backers over the years and were behind Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma’s failed presidential campaign.

Following the president's refusal to voluntarily step down when instructed by the ANC Top Six, which triggered a special meeting of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) aimed at recalling him, ANCYL secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza said they would block the plans.

Nzuza said Zuma’s removal would be a purge of those who disagreed with the new ANC leadership. But Gauteng ANCYL spokesperson Matome Chiloane has slammed Zuma’s continued defence, saying the league’s national leadership need to deal with reality.

“They must move on, they know there is a new leadership now and there is a new president and his name is Cyril. We must all fully rally behind the new leadership and allow Cyril to lead.”

Chiloane added while the league backed Zuma over the years, there was no basis for defending him now.

ANC national spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize has also indicated the league would oppose moves to remove Zuma before the end of his term.

But ANCYL president Collen Maine, who has been elected to the ANC’s NEC has indicated he would rally behind the new leadership.

After his election to the NEC, youth league structures were engaged in intense lobbying for a new president. The mandate of the current national leadership was set to end in August but some structures were currently pushing for the national elective conference to be held as early as May or June.

ANCYL treasurer-general Reggie Nkabinde and KZN provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabela have appeared to be the main leaders whose presidential ambitions have gained traction so far.

Chiloane said the provincial leadership would meet tomorrow, where it would pronounce on who it wanted as the next head of the league.

“I don't want pre-empt the outcomes of that meeting but I can tell you that most structures are talking about Nkabinde. We will make a pronouncement after the meeting,” he said.

Political Bureau