No joy for youth league members

ANC Youth League members picket outside Lithuli House, Johannesburg./Alon Skuy
ANC Youth League members picket outside Lithuli House, Johannesburg./Alon Skuy

Throngs of ANC Youth League members who marched to Luthuli House yesterday, demanding that the league's leadership is disbanded, were left disappointed.

This after the mother body told the Young Lions that the disbanding of the league would not materialise overnight as proper processes need to unfold.

Hundreds of ANCYL members from Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal converged outside the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg, demanding that ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule respond to their memorandum directly.

The memorandum submitted to the ANC during its national executive committee (NEC) meeting last week called for the league's leadership to be dissolved.

But ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe told the crowd that the mother body had not had a meeting of the NEC to consider the issues the youth league members have raised.

"We have conveyed your presence here at Luthuli House to the secretary-general and we have received your memorandum, which has triggered a meeting which is taking place tomorrow [today]," he said.

"The ANC doesn't take decisions outside of its collective... it doesn't happen. We are a constitutional structure and we are guided by the wisdom of the collective we lead with."

He said the group's demands will be dealt with later this month.

In September 2015, the ANCYL elected its top five leaders unopposed, but many delegates expressed dissatisfaction, saying the election process was unfair.

The conference elected Collen Maine as president, Desmond Moela as deputy president, Njabulo Nzuza as secretary-general and Thandi Moraka as his deputy, while Reggie Nkabinde was elected treasurer-general.

Former South African Students Congress president Ntuthuko Makhombothi said the collective were occupying the organisation's offices illegally as their term had ended last year.

"The ANCYL national executive committee's term of office lapsed last year, so in terms of the ANCYL constitution, any decision they take going forward is null and void," said Makhombothi.

He claimed that the reason why some of the leaders do not want the Young Lions to head to a national conference was because they want to "install" their preferred candidates in key positions.

The youth league was meant to hold a national conference in June last year, but a number of reasons, including not having enough funds, were cited for its postponement.

The conference was then postponed to September and later to December, but that also did not materialise.

Nzuza told Sowetan the marchers wanted a "quick route to leadership".

"We are old and are going out [of office]. We have never wanted to stay in power forever.

"We don't want to install anyone and they must go participate in their branches and stop mobilising chaos..."

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