We want ANCYL back on its feet - Mthethwa

2015-06-08 16:08
(Amanda Khoza, News24)

(Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Johannesburg - The ANC wants the Youth League back on its feet, arts and culture minister and co-ordinator of the national conference preparatory committee, Nathi Mthethwa, said on Monday.

"The ANC would want to see the Youth League get back on stream in full force. We sorely missed that roar of Young Lions," the member of the ANC's national executive committee told reporters in Johannesburg.

Mthethwa is part of the task team in charge of ensuring the Youth League's national congress, set to take place between June 25 and June 28, results in the election of a new ANCYL president.

The ANC disbanded the ANCYL executive in 2013 and placed a national task team in place to try rebuild its structures. It also replaced its provincial structures with provincial task teams.

A conference to elect new leadership was meant to take place last year, but at the last minute the national task team announced that it would be a consultative conference, upsetting some of its members.

On Monday, Mthethwa said the Youth League's autonomy would not be compromised, as long at the party's rules were obeyed.

"We are trying to [undo] un-ANC tendencies which we have developed over a period of time.

"The ANCYL is a mass political organ of ANC. It has autonomy. In the ANC nobody is gagged in raising his views, [but] I don't think there is any organisation that will allow anarchy."

He said he had also been a member of the ANCYL and emphasised that the mother body would not intervene in ANCYL matters.

 "The Youth League elects their own leader, their own congress and [hold] their own views.

"In most cases some of the ideas which shape the way the ANC works is from the ANCYL [but] in any situation there are rules, rules have to be obeyed."

New chairperson

Around 3 000 members were expected to attend the national congress at the end of the month.

All nine provinces had held successful congresses, with KwaZulu-Natal being the last to hold its congress at the weekend.

The congress began 12 hours late and voting took place without six branches that had allegedly not registered in an attempt to disrupt the congress on Saturday.

On Sunday, Thami Ngubane was elected as the provincial chairperson.

Mthethwa described the congress as a success but urged the new leadership to address the factional disputes within the provincial structures.

"We want to ensure that as we prepare for the national congress there are no disputes raised by members of the ANCYL.

"We want to stick to the set days for congress. What may delay it is the issues around the branch meetings."

He said those who chose to hold on to caucus groups even after the congress at the weekend, would now be declaring themselves as a faction.

This needed to be addressed before the national congress, Mthethwa said.

Mthethwa would not confirm or deny whether excluded ANCYL treasurer Pule Mabe, who reportedly turned 35 in March, was able to run for a leadership position within the ANCYL.

When asked about the age issue Mthethwa said the age bracket for the ANCYL was between the ages of 14 and 35.

"If you are 36 you cannot be a member of the Youth League," he said.

Read more on:    anc  |  ancyl  |  nathi mthethwa  |  politics

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