ANC struggling to restore stability in its troubled but influential youth wing

2015-06-21 06:19
(Supplied)

(Supplied)

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Johannesburg - Electing the ANC Youth League’s national leadership seems to be a hard mission to accomplish – the organisation’s elective conference was postponed this week, for the third time in less than a year.

Five years since its woes began, the ANC is still struggling to restore stability in its troubled but highly influential youth wing.

Difficulties in getting branches to quorate and sit for their general meetings may also signal deep-seated problems all the way to branch level.

The Youth League has been held together by a national task team, led by Mzwandile Masina, since its leadership was dissolved two years ago. Now, the third attempt to get the youth to gather and elect new leaders fizzled out before it even got off the ground.

On Friday, spokesperson for the Youth League conference preparation committee, Nathi Mthethwa, acknowledged some difficulties with the much-anticipated conference which, was planned for this coming weekend.

“There are challenges cropping up with the conference, and there’s going to be a determination on a new date. This is precisely because those who are supposed to be part of the conference would not be left out,” Mthethwa said.

“It has also come to our attention that other provinces did not meet the threshold in terms of branch general meetings.”

Mthethwa said another challenge was the recent North Gauteng High Court decision to nullify the Limpopo conference. The court has ordered a rerun after disgruntled members sought legal relief over dissatisfaction with delegates they said were not properly nominated by branches, and thus in violation of the league’s constitution.

Mthethwa said they were planning to challenge the court’s decision “because we believe that we had a legitimate congress”.

One of the disgruntled members from Limpopo, Boy Mamabolo, said more time was needed before a conference could take place, and added that it “must take place after local government elections”.

Mamabolo said it would take months for branches to complete their general meetings. He accused those in charge of rushing things and imposing their favourites on members.

“Minister Mthethwa and others are failing us in that they are pulling in the direction of a particular faction instead of building and uniting. We still have a long way to go before a proper conference can take place,” he said.

The elective congress was originally scheduled for September 24 to 28, but was later postponed so that “KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Western Cape could be given a chance to complete their regional and provincial conferences”, Mzobe said.

Another date was set for November 24 to 29 2014, and although the gathering did happen, no leaders were elected. It was downgraded to a consultative conference.

It was determinated at that meeting that the elections would be held from June 25 to 28 this year.

When he addressed what was then reduced to a “consultative conference” in November, President Jacob Zuma explained that the ANC had made a decision not to allow an elective conference because three provinces would not have been represented because they had not sat for their provincial congresses.

While uncertainty continues to reign, six people are vying for the position of president.

While former league deputy president Ronald Lamola and former treasurer-general Pule Mabe are favourites, national task team coordinator Magasela Mzobe, Tshwane regional leader Lesego Makhubela, North West’s local government and housing MEC Collen Maine and the National Youth Development Agency’s deputy executive board chairperson Kenny Morolong have thrown their names into the hat.
Read more on:    anc  |  ancyl  |  politics

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