Malema's past leadership blamed for ANCYL's troubles

Siviwe Feketha Political reporter
EFF leader Julius Malema gesturing in this file picture when he was ANC Youth League president. The current leadership of the ANC Youth League task team alleges that Malema's leadership caused the financial collapse of the organisation.
EFF leader Julius Malema gesturing in this file picture when he was ANC Youth League president. The current leadership of the ANC Youth League task team alleges that Malema's leadership caused the financial collapse of the organisation.

The ANC Youth League’s newly appointed interim structure has blamed past president Julius Malema’s leadership cohort for the organisation’s current financial troubles.

Briefing the media on the first meeting of the national youth task team (NYTT), co-ordinator Joy Maimela said the ANCYL had not been able to recover its financial health since its resources were plundered by Malema’s national executive committee.

“The ANCYL has been plagued with financial challenges since the gross financial mismanagement and grand scale looting of its assets by the former NEC, which was disbanded in 2013,” Maimela said.

The ANCYL was declared bankrupt in 2018 and liquidated after it failed to pay the legal costs that emanated from a settled defamation case that was launched by DA federal council chair Helen Zille, which involved Malema and Floyd Shivambu, who was then ANCYL spokesperson. 

Malema is now EFF leader while Shivambu is his deputy.

Sowetan contacted EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo for Malema and Shivambu's comment but no response had been received at the time of printing.

Maimela said the NYTT would now urgently assess the state of its organisation as well as the financial and legal standing as it rebuilds and prepares the organisation for its conference, which must be held within six months.

Maimela said the NYTT was eager to deliver a credible conference, despite possible fights over processes in lower structures.

The previous NYTT, which was dissolved earlier this year, was marred by divisions as its leaders accused each other of manipulation of processes.

Maimela said the new task team would scrutinise the work that had been done by the previous task team.

“If there are disputes or issues on the process that was undertaken by the former task team, we will deal with those issues and ensure that the process becomes a credible one that we can say is justifiable and clean. Those squabbles will be resolved by this structure, if they exist,” she said.

Former president Jacob Zuma’s daughter Thuthukile Zuma, who made the cut for the 35-member NYTT, has been appointed head of fundraising while former ANCYL spokesperson Mlondolozi Mkhize has been appointed head of organising.

NYTT spokesperson Sizophila Mkhize was at pains to explain that, despite perceptions that the NYTT was factionally divided, the new interim structure would not drive agendas for the ANC’s warring factions.

“Maybe we can enter there when we are in branches of the ANC but here we are an appointed structure that must rebuild the ANCYL,” Mkhize said.

NYTT convener Nonceba Mhlauli also reiterated that the structure had made it clear to both President Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule that they should not count on them for the defence of their factions.

The ANCYL has over the years played a key role in ANC internal battles and leadership tussles, with some leaders accusing the youth body’s leaders of being “henchmen” and “factional foot soldiers”.

“Whatever would have happened in the past – in terms of the role of the youth league and how the organisation was used before to fight personal interests and faction battles of elders that have nothing to do with the interests of young people – that era is over,” Mhlauli said.

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