eThekwini mayor's handshake snub a sign of intolerance towards youth, says league
The ANC Youth League in eThekwini has slammed the party's regional chairperson, Zandile Gumede, over a video doing the rounds on social media purportedly showing the eThekwini mayor refusing to shake hands with the league's provincial secretary, Thanduxolo Sabelo.
The incident apparently took place on stage at an ANC rally in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday.
In a statement, the eThekwini ANCYL said this was indicative of a larger problem within the party.
"The refusal by [Gumede] to shake the hand of [Sabelo] is indicative of a much larger problem facing young people in the region. It shows a leadership which is standing in the way of a unity call made by the ANC in the 54th national conference. It is about a leader of the ANC which refuses to tolerate young people who hold a view [that is] different from them," it said.
"The actions of [Gumede] are consistent of an old generation that refuses to make space for the new. They are also a sign of deeper political problems facing the youth in the region. We call upon the ANC in the province to take a closer look into eThekwini and the plight of youth in the region under this repressive regime.
"The youth league is very disappointed by this behaviour from a leader of the ANC. This kind of behaviour must be condemned as anti-ANC. The ANC we joined is a tolerant organisation, one that allows for 100 flowers to bloom and a hundred thoughts to contend," said the league.
Gumede was elected chairperson of the eThekwini region, the ANC's biggest, after a campaign by, and support from, the youth league in the province.
Her chairmanship ultimately led to her becoming eThekwini mayor. Cracks began to show in 2017 when league leaders started criticising her for failing to deliver on some of her promises to the youth. At the time, Sabelo was reported as saying that after being elected Gumede had become "unreachable".
TimesLIVE understands that the ANCYL wants Bheki Ntuli, the regional secretary of the eThekwini region, to replace Gumede as the regional chairperson at the region's next elective conference, which is expected to sit after the general elections on May 8.