ANCYL up in arms over 'meddling' Magashule

30 September 2018 - 11:12
By Ngwako Malatji and Amos Mananyetso

A war has allegedly broken out between the ANC Youth League and three ANC heavyweights over the league's forthcoming elective conference.

Two senior ANC members, who didn't want to be named, alleged that ANCYL secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza has approached ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and complained about his alleged interference in its preparations for the conference, billed to take place in October.

Nzuza has also whined about the alleged meddling of ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe and national executive committee (NEC) member and former youth league deputy president Ronald Lamola.

It is understood that Nzuza formally asked Magashule, Mabe and Lamola to butt out of the youth league's affairs.

"In that meeting, Magashule denied that he was interfering in the league's affairs. He promised to convene a meeting on Saturday [yesterday] where they could ventilate the matter and put it to bed," said one ANC member.

The member claimed the trio was tinkering with the league's affairs and conference preparations in a desperate bid to ensure their favourite presidential candidate, Thanduxolo Sabelo, defeats his rival, youth league treasurer-general Reggie Nkabinde.

It is alleged that the trio intensified their interference after the emergence of damaging allegations that Sabelo, know as TDX, was part of a meeting in Durban with Magashule and former president Jacob Zuma, where a plan was allegedly hatched to unseat ANC and SA president Cyril Ramaphosa.

"In that meeting, Magashule denied that he was interfering in the league's affairs.

"I think they have realised that TDX's campaign has collapsed and they are trying everything to make sure that he emerges against all odds," said the ANC member.

He said the three, who are part of Zuma's inner circle, wanted Sabelo to win because they view Nkabinde as a Ramaphosa and Paul Mashatile loyalist.

"These guys also say Reggie will not support their 2022 campaign. They are so desperate to make sure Reggie doesn't win because in the NWC [national working committee] meeting, which was held at St George's Hotel [in Pretoria] on Friday, outgoing ANCYL president Collen Maine, who is also betting for Sabelo, asked for the disbandment of the ANCYL. Some members disagreed with him but others said the matter should be discussed in the next NWC meeting."

Maine dismissed as untrue allegations that he asked for the disbandment of the league.

"I know nothing about that, that's not true," he said.

Another ANC member confirmed the league's alleged subtle revolt against Magashule, Mabe and Lamola but dismissed claims that the three were meddling as nonsense.

"It's just a perception. We know that Nzuza is supporting Reggie to become the next president and they have decided to plant stories in the media that will destroy the reputations of those who don't support Reggie. We don't support Reggie because he is lazy. The ANCYL will be in trouble under his leadership," said the member.

He said as the league's former leaders, the NEC asked Lamola and Mabe to help them to prepare for the election. "How do you call that interference?"

Nkabinde declined to comment while Nzuza could not be reached for comment.

Mabe, speaking as ANC spokesperson, dismissed the allegations, saying it was normal for youth league politicians to make such claims in the run-up to every conference.

Mabe confirmed that the mother body had a meeting with the youth leaders this week. "The president of the youth league and his secretary-general were in that meeting. They raised a number of issues and we resolved to make sure that their concerns were sorted out before the conference sits.

"As the mother body we have, as a matter of due process, put together a steering committee that will help with the preparations of the youth league. Regardless of the difference in interests of those involved in youth league politics, we have the responsibility to ensure a vibrant and successful conference is delivered."