ANC dismisses talk of disbanding ANCYL
Johannesburg - There was never a plan to disband the ANC Youth League, the ruling party said on Thursday.
Spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said reports of a meeting held earlier this week by the African National Congress's top leadership to discuss league president Julius Malema's suspension and the disbanding of his executive were "untrue and misleading".
"This is a clear and total fabrication. These two matters did not even arise in the Tuesday meeting," Mthembu said in a statement.
Mthembu said it was "totally misleading and mischievous" for The Star newspaper to suggest this in a report it carried on Thursday.
According to the newspaper, secretary general Gwede Mantashe called the ANC top six to an urgent meeting on Tuesday to persuade them to take harsher action against Malema.
This would have entailed the ANC's top six announcing, at a media briefing on Tuesday, Malema's suspension and the disbanding of his executive. However, ANC Treasurer Mathews Phosa and deputy secretary general Thandi Modise disagreed on the suspension and disbanding, according to The Star.
A draft statement on the two issues had to be changed to pronounce on unity within the organisation instead.
According to the report the national disciplinary committee (NDC), which announced Malema's suspension on Wednesday, set to work after the top six met on Tuesday.
"A number of untruths and disinformation have been used to cast doubt on the briefing that the national officials held," said Mthembu.
"The ANC is disappointed at the misleading article."
Mthembu said the top six in fact met on Monday, after their special national executive committee meeting. He said the suspension was only discussed by the ANC's NDC.
"None of the national officials were part of that meeting as this would have undermined the independence of the NDC and would have given rise to prejudice on the matter."
Mthembu warned against journalists allowing themselves to be used by "elements" with ulterior motives.