Knives out in ANCYL

2010-05-19 00:00

ALTHOUGH the KwaZulu-Natal’s ANC Youth League is united in its support for Julius Malema to be retained as the league’s national president at next year’s elective conference, fireworks are expected at its provincial conference, which is expected to take place this weekend.

This follows the release of three lists that are secretly circulating in the ranks of the ANCYL in the province, which names candidates for the top five positions who are being lobbied for.

In an interview this week with The Witness, provincial ANCYL secretary Bheki Mtolo confirmed that the province is behind Malema in the succession battle between Malema and his deputy, Andile Lungisa, which saw two provincial conferences in Limpopo and Eastern Cape disrupted recently.

The race for provincial chairperson is open for contention as the incumbent chairperson, ­Mxolisi Kaunda will reach the age limit for ANCYL membership when he turns 36 in September.

In one of the lists leaked to The Witness, current ANCYL provincial treasurer NomaGugu Simelane-Zulu is nominated as the provincial chairperson, with Mdumiseni Ntuli as deputy chairperson, Wandile Mkhize as secretary, Mondli Luvuno as deputy secretary and Dimakatso Mavundla as treasurer.

A source in the youth league said Simelane-Zulu has shown characteristics of a strong leader “who is the focus in every position she is put into”.

During the last chaotic elections of the national ANCYL leadership in Mangaung in 2007, which saw former ANCYL president Fikile Mbalula’s and secretry-general Sihle Zikalala’s factions pitted against each other for the running of the ANCYL, Simelane-Zulu was one of the nominees for the top five positions. She was nominated for position of deputy secretary-general which she eventually lost.

She is a respected leader in the provincial ANCYL, having at one stage been the provincial youth commissioner during the days of the now defunct National Youth Commission.

Besides enjoying support from different regions of the ANCYL in KwaZulu-Natal, Simelane-Zulu also enjoys support from the biggest eThekwini region, which has 60 branches. If she is elected, she is expected to be the first woman to be elected an ANCYL provincial leader.

The second faction is believed to prefer the deputy president in the KZN ANCYL, Mthandeni Dlungwane, as the new leader, Magaqa Sindiso as his deputy, and Bheki Mtolo and Sboniso Duma to retain their positions as secretary and deputy secretary respectively. This group wants a national executive committee member of the ANCYL, Yolanda Young, to be elected as the provincial treasurer.

There are also unconfirmed reports that there is the third faction that supports former South African Students’ Congress president Fanile Sibisi as the provincial chairperson.

The rest of the candidates for this third group are reportedly similar to that of the group supporting Simelane-Zulu.

Malema and other national leaders are expected to attend the conference.

However, it is not clear which faction he will support as both back him to continue at the helm of the league.

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