ANC looks to mend its fences

2013-01-16 00:00

ANC leaders will meet their youth league counterparts on Monday to deal with their strained relations.

So said ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe yesterday when briefing the media on the first meeting of the national executive committee (NEC) in Durban last Friday.

Mantashe denied wanting to shut down the youth body.

“We don’t have the objective of disbanding the ANC Youth League. The objective is to have a youth league that plays its role in society that complements the work of the ANC, that helps the ANC reach out to young people.

“Disbanding will be a decision informed by whether we are making progress in making it function,” he said.

Mantashe said the meeting would look at the youth league’s adherence to its constitution and its general functioning.

Under former leader Julius Malema and even in the run-up to Mangaung last year, the league was a vocal critic of President Jacob Zuma.

It even unsuccessfully lobbied for the party’s former deputy president, Kgalema Motlanthe, to unseat Zuma.

The Mangaung conference took a resolution that the NEC should intervene in the affairs of the youth body, a move that fuelled speculation it would be disbanded.

However, Zuma allayed those fears, saying the ruling party would work with the youth league to address its challenges.

He said the ANC would ensure the league continued to “live up to its proud legacy of being a preparatory school for ANC cadreship”.

Zuma made the statement after ANCYL deputy Ronald Lamola repeatedly said last week that the league was fully behind the newly elected NEC.

The youth league could not be reached for comment last night.

Mantashe also said the NEC identified Limpopo and North West as the two provinces that required its urgent attention.

He said the Free State had until March to convene its provincial conference after the Constitutional Court had declared its conference last year null and void, resulting in the dissolution of the provincial leadership.

Mantashe added that the newly elected NEC had agreed that the report of the task team led by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to investigate irregularities in the selection process of the ANC candidate councillors in 2011 should be implemented.

He said all NEC provincial convenors, including KwaZulu-Natal’s national deployee Joe Phaahla, were given the provincial section of the report.

“The national executive committee convenors will henceforth, and without any delay, give the reports to the province for processing and implementation as recommended …” he said.

The task team recommended that 11 by-elections be held in KwaZulu-Natal.

Mantashe also announced that Jackson Mthembu had been reappointed national spokesperson and that members and chairpersons of NEC subcommittees had been appointed.

The national executive committee would meet again tomorrow and on Friday to appoint the national working committee, among other tasks, he added.

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