ANCYL leaders vie for the attention of Cyril Ramaphosa
ANC Youth League leaders are now fighting for the attention of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Sowetan understands that ANCYL president Collen Maine, its secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza, treasurer-general Reggie Nkabinde and KwaZulu-Natal secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo all want a face-to-face meeting with Ramaphosa.
They want to pledge their allegiance to him and to tell him that they were misled when they backed Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's failed bid to be ANC president at the party's national elective conference in December.
They also want an endorsement from him about the youth league's national elective conference taking place in June.
It is understood that Ramaphosa has told them they must go through youth league national executive committee (NEC) member Thembi Siweya and former youth league NEC member Abner Mosase if they wanted to see him.
This is said to have angered them. They are now accusing Siweya and Mosase of blocking their attempts to reach out to Ramaphosa. "They are saying that there are a lot of buffers and are accusing Siweya of fighting back," said an ANCYL leader.
Siweya would not confirm or deny the allegations yesterday.
"The president [Ramaphosa] is on record saying young people must debate about their preferred leadership.
"It is unfortunate that when the president is trying to rebuild the ANC and run the country others are busy trying to disturb him."
Without mentioning names, Siweya said some youth league leaders want a meeting with Ramaphosa to discuss their political ambitions. "My plea is that we should give Cyril a chance to run South Africa and stop going to him for gossip."
Mosase said he was ready to facilitate any discussions between Ramaphosa and the youth league leaders. "If the president has told them to come to me, I am ready to facilitate any discussions," Mosase said.
Siweya and Mosase are among those who broke ranks with ANCYL leadership to campaign for Ramaphosa to be party leader. Siweya was chastised last year after she wrote an open letter criticising Maine.
Maine, who is believed to have ambitions to be a deputy minister, could not be reached for comment.
ANCYL national spokesman and NEC member Mlondi Mkhize said Ramaphosa had promised to spend a day with the youth league leadership when he made an input at its NEC meeting last month.
"The office of the SG [secretary-general] and the office of the president will decide when that meeting will happen."