Zuma lauds firm ANCYL

Kingdom Mabuza

Kingdom Mabuza

ANC president Jacob Zuma commended the ANC Youth League for blocking the "energetic" Thabo Mbeki from leading the movement for the third term.

Zuma, who was speaking to members of the league's national executive committee (NEC) in Vanderbijlpark yesterday, said the ANC experienced smooth transition from the Nelson Mandela era.

"Mandela served one term because he was not young anymore, and there were no challenges -- everything went smooth."

"When the next president (Mbeki) was to bow out, he was not very old and still had energy to play a role. We were faced with a challenge on what to do.

"The ANCYL stood up and was very clear on what should be done," said Zuma to the delight of his audience.

He said the league's position was also "very loud and clear" on two centres of power, insisting that this could not be an option.

On the number of terms that ANC president should serve, Zuma said: "We need to deal with that issue and we cannot leave it to chance, because some energetic president might emerge and say I want to stay again."

Zuma urged members of the league to preach unity in all structures of the movement.

"Once we agree we all have to defend the decision.

" We must work together as government and the party because there is one leadership," he said.

He said there was no problem in this reagrd.

"It would be a strange thing if the ANC has problem with government. We will be going to provinces to talk to people," he said.