Seniors downplay league members’ congress complaints

2011-06-17 14:57

The ANC Youth League’s Sedibeng region in Gauteng has raised concerns about the league’s national conference’s logistical arrangements, which were being attended to, according to the ANC’s national leaders deployed to oversee the conference.

Addressing a media briefing this afternoon, Nomvula Mokonyane and Nyami Booi said the region – which nominated Lebogang Maile to challenge league president Julius Malema – complained that some of its members were denied access to accommodation.

But they downplayed the complaint, saying it was nothing serious and was getting the necessary attention.Booi said: “The issue is about accommodation. That is the major problem and one delegate coming here without accreditation. It’s not a problem, just that we need to sit down with them and sort out the matter.”

Mokonyane and Booi said delegates have already adopted the credentials and nominations would take place later tonight after the treasury and secretariat reports were delivered.

They said a total of 5 331 or 94% of voting delegates had made it to the conference.

Mokonyane said the party was “pleased” with the smooth running of the conference so far, adding that no disruptions had been reported.

In the event that Maile or any other person receives the required 30% threshold to take on Malema, a secret ballot would be prepared, followed by a secret ballot tonight and results tomorrow.“If it comes out that there is a challenger, we would start with the process of preparing a ballot and voting would take place tonight but the results would follow tomorrow,” said Booi.

Asked if the party would ask the league to allow the media access to its nomination processes – as it was normally the case with the ruling party’s national and provincial conferences – Mokonyane said it would not happen: “Maybe that tradition is what keeps them together because nobody plays to the gallery.”

She acknowledged that the league, like its mother body, was “battling” with the issue of its racial composition.But she insisted the league’s leadership was dealing with that as part of its process of organisational renewal.

Booi and Mokonyane denied that President Jacob Zuma, who arrived three hours late at a June 16 Day celebration yesterday, prioritised a youth league conference at the expenses of a state function.

Mokonyana said that although Zuma knew that some of the 54 000 people who packed Soweto’s Orlando Stadium earlier had since left, he chose to go there nevertheless because his late arrival had been caused by the late start of the league’s indaba.

Added Mokonyane: “Unfortunately, the youth league conference took long. But he (Zuma) insisted he would still want to make a turn to be with the organisers. I do not think it had anything to do with him not taking the function seriously.”

Meanwhile, Maile supporters again dismissed rumours that he would pull out of the race after being advised to do so by Gauteng provincial leaders such as Paul Mashatile.

Maile seemed prepared to soldier on yesterday, saying in his welcome address that ANCYL members had “the right to elect or be elected”. 

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