Maropene Ntuli enters ANCYL leadership race as sole female candidate

2014-09-03 11:42

ANC Youth League national task team member Maropene Ntuli has entered the race for the league’s presidency, with only three weeks to go to the elective conference.

Ntuli this morning confirmed that she is available for nomination “for whatever position they are nominating us”.

She said she would be in the running because “I believe it is our time as women to stand”.

She said there was no reason to step back for men. “We can beat men 10-0 in debating. There is nothing wrong if we as women have confidence in ourselves.”

Ntuli admitted that the campaign started “a bit late” but said it was important for a woman to at least participate.

Campaigners for Ntuli in Gauteng said they realised that all the candidates in the running for the league’s presidency were men and decided to push for a woman candidate.

Former league treasurer, ANC MP and fraud-accused Pule Mabe, youth league national task team co-ordinator Magasela Mzobe and former league deputy president Ronald Lamola are all in the running for the top job, while only male candidates have been fielded for the secretary general position.

It is understood that Ntuli’s campaigners could use the secretary general position as a fall-back.

One campaigner said the appointment of only one ANC woman premier “left a bitter taste in our mouths”.

“It clearly indicates that we still have a long way to go in terms of achieving equality between genders,” she said.

She said the ANC was still lagging behind having women occupying strategic positions such as president and secretary general. “The time has arrived to move away from simply being satisfied with deputising and form part of the 50 % quota system in the elections of committees that lead,” she said.

She said although the ANC gave the space for women to stand, women must also “demand their space in those positions of power”.

Their campaign slogan is “If not now, then when” and “If not us, then who” and the group is expected to lobby other women to make themselves available for nomination for positions in the top five.

Ntuli, who is 34, was a national executive committee member of the youth league – then led by Julius Malema – from 2008 until its disbandment in 2013, when she became the only member from the NEC to remain on the national task team.

She is also on the National Youth Development Agency board.

Provincial general councils are set to nominate candidates in the next three weeks, but campaigners said if Ntuli did not feature amongst those, they would nominate her from the floor at the conference, which starts on September 24 in Midrand.

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