The exclusion of Motlanthe and the other prominent members of 'the forces of change' from the NEC of the ANC is not only justified. It also shows that the majority of the ANC branches can be trusted to make correct and informed decisions.
He not only failed to neutralise and guide the ANCYL. He also failed to protect the president of the ANC from the attacks and insults of the league.
His office required of him to have strongly condemned the tendency of the youth league to cause division by pitting him against Zuma. A responsible deputy president should have even went as far as to give the youth league an ultimatum not to even consider him for the position of the president of his organisation that early. This would have been an indication of selflessness. It would also have forced the youth league to tout another name for the position of president (if it persisted) since it would not have carried out a 'headless' campaign.
Instead Kgalema gave an occasional half-hearted and shallow pretence of reprimanding the league. The ANC members on the ground throughout the country recognised these 'reprimands' for what they were: an attempt by Kgalema to have his bread and eat it.
The ANCYL also recognised this (It is on record for praising Motlanthe for reprimanding it whenever it went astray!) and became emboldened to 'divide and rule' the top structure of the ANC. For it only Zuma and Mantashe were the stumbling block while Phosa and Modise were in the bag. In this sense it can be said that while Motlanthe did not start the ill-discipline and the divisive actions of the league, he encouraged them.
On the positive side (for the ANC) it can be said that Motlanthe gave the 'anti Zuma and Mantashe' a false sense of progress by not coming out strongly against it. Had it been clear that Motlanthe was not 'available' for them, they would have put forward another candidate. This candidate would have had ample time to strengthen the ' change coalition'.
If the reports of Mantashe arguing against the expulsion of Julius Malema in an NEC meeting and his worry about the expulsion in his (auto) biography, are true, then it can be unequivocally concluded that Motlanthe got his due. Julius Malema is indefensible.
All this indicate that Motlanthe was going to be a very bad president of the ANC and of the country.
The ill-discipline and divisive utterances of the ANCYL started around Mbalula, and a look at his conduct towards the leadership of the league and of the ANC during the past three years leads to the conclusion that he was the cause. The Mangaung conference agreed with this.
Mantashe had hardly been the General Secretary for two years before his credentials were questioned by the youth league, and Mbalula suggested as a possible replacement. Assertions were made to the effect that Mantashe does not come from the ranks of the ANCYL and should not be the SG. Furthermore the league and Mbalula's utterances questioned the roles of the SACP and COSATU in Zuma victory at Polokwane.
These were highly divisive actions and much more serious, to my mind, than the league's utterances on Botswana and Zuma-Mbeki comparison. They were insubordinate in that they went against results of the Polokwane conference. In other words, they rubbished the spoken words of the branches. They were also acts of sabotage in that they were an attempt to make it uncomfortable for Mantashe to carry out the ANC mandate.
Other Mbalula's shenanigans are well-documented. There is the Malema-Mbalula-hotel-stay issue during the London Olympics. Then the is the insulting of the president of the ANC and of the country as reported in the Star newspaper. (Maybe Mbaks is going to sue the paper so that the truth can come out!). In this Mbalula, Malema, Zapiro and other sick 'artists' who resorts to repugnant insults are of like minds.
The problem with Mbalula is that he lacks historical consciousness. This is the curse on those youths who think they are equipped to be in charge of a country immediately after coming of age. This can be said of Malema as well.
Like Motlanthe, Mbalula gave the youth league tacit approval to sow divisions in the ANC.
The ANCYL should have heeded the advice of Malusi Gigaba when he asked them: "Why are you destroying Mbalula?". He should have asked "Why are you helping Mbalula to destroy himself?".
The moral: No organiser should think that he or she can manipulate the ANC branches for his or her own personal ambitions.
Little but definite can be said with certainty about Phosa. He allowed the ANCYL to use his name to sow divisions. He encouraged Malema by giving him a false sense of being untouchable by defending him during the disciplinary hearing and by telling him that the ANC does not have rubbish bins for comrades. He forgot to tell Malema that the are rubbish and they are reserved for ill-disciplined comrades.
Does anyone believe that Phosa did not know beforehand that Julius was going to insult and call his president names at Wits on that day he called Zuma a dictator. The branches were not deceived.
This is the man who tried very hard to hide his ambitions and his dependence on the ANCYL to help him. The only time he ever said anything against the youth league was when he said "most of the time they talk" nonsense. This after the league has been giving divisive utterances for years.
He is the tread that holds all the above together. He succeeded because they did not apply their minds to his actions. They believed that the ANCYL was the kingmaker and they had to go along albeit surreptitiously with the utterances of its leadership. They pretended not to realise that these were mere children just starting to get involved in the huge task of leading a nation.