Siweya blows CR17 horn even louder

Thembi Siweya has not been shy to publicly display her support for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma as leader of the ANC.
Thembi Siweya has not been shy to publicly display her support for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma as leader of the ANC.
Image: Supplied

ANC Youth League NEC member and national youth coordinator for Cyril Ramaphosa's ANC presidential campaign, Thembi Siweya, says she feels exonerated by her decision to defy her fellow comrades on her stance to see the deputy president replace President Jacob Zuma as leader of the party.

The Limpopo-born Siweya spoke to Sunday World in an exclusive interview this week.

Siweya, who recently turned 35, wrote an open letter earlier this year criticising Youth League president Collen Maine's leadership.

This week she told Sunday World she does not regret challenging Maine.

"Someone had to do it because the movement was slowly going off the rails, putting aside issues that were central to its existence. We found ourselves defending the indefensible and forgetting to deal with real issues affecting young people. A clear example was #FeesMustFall," she said.

But that's not the only thing that Siweya was hounded for by the ANCYL president.

The former national treasurer of the SA Students Congress also defied a Youth League national executive committee (NEC) resolution to campaign and support Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's drive to replace President Jacob Zuma as ANC leader.

Siweya said the resolution was first adopted "somewhere in Durban by Maine and his people" before any resolution could be taken by structures of the Youth League.

Collen Maine
Collen Maine

"Maine went to Durban that week, and the next thing he came back with a public pronouncement saying that the youth league supports Nkosazana. That was before the ANCYL extended NEC meeting was held to resolve on the matter, and no structures were consulted on the pronouncement," Siweya said.

Speaking about her involvement with the Ramaphosa campaign, Siweya - who has been crisscrossing the country with the deputy president and his choice for ANC secretary-general former KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairman Senzo Mchunu on the campaign - said she joined the team because she believed Ramaphosa was the only leader capable of rooting out corruption and saving the country's ailing economy.

"He inspires confidence and is admired by all people of our country.

"He is a good listener and negotiator and I have no doubt that he will deliver victory to the ANC in the 2019 general elections," she said.

Sunday World understands that Siweya has been nominated by most branches in Limpopo as a possible candidate to form part of the ANC's national executive committee, the party's powerful decision-making body.

"That's not my call to make and besides, my focus is on making sure that young people are delegates to the conference and that they support Ramaphosa," she said.

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