New chair on fire for Malema

2010-05-27 00:00

THE Pietermaritzburg-born new KZN ANC Youth League chairperson, Mthandeni Dlungane, reiterated yesterday that the provincial youth wing of the ruling party will back its national president, Julius Malema, to be retained as the leader at the league’s elective conference next year.

“As the KZN ANC youth league we will back Julius Malema for re-election as president of the ANCYL. We will go village to village, branch to branch, region to region and province to province to make sure that [Malema] is reinstated …” Dlungane toldThe Witness yesterday.

Dlungane beat Nomagugu Sime­lane-Zulu for the position of the chairperson at the weekend during the league’s provincial congress held at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Howard College campus.

With Dlungane as the new chair and his confirmation to back Malema, the new leadership of the province’s youth league is seen as major boost in ensuring that Malema is re-elected over his deputy Andile Lungisa, who is gunning for the presidency.

The race for ANCYL national positions has split the league into those who want Malema to be retained and those who want Lungisa to lead them. The issue of the ANCYL’s presidency was thrust into the spotlight following chaos at the youth league’s conference in Limpopo and the abandonment of a planned conference in the Eastern Cape.

The KZN provincial conference also suffered from disruptions caused by delays. The accreditation process did not go smoothly as computer problems plagued the process. About 20 youth branches were disqualified for not meeting accreditation requirements.

Dlungane said that the province’s support for Malema’s re-election is to ensure that the ANC is not swayed in the wrong direction by those who want to be elected to positions of power to serve their own needs. “We have have full confidence in Malema as the president. We have not doubt that he will take the youth league to new heights,” he said.

He said they know why Malema is under attack, explaining that the controversial youth leader touched on the issue of young people demanding real economic transformation and that this is seen as a “no-go area because some people do not want to talk about that”.

The robust new chairperson, who hails from KwaNxamalala in the rural Vulindlela area, says he has been involved in politics since he was in primary school.

He is the fifth of 10 children. He started school at the Maria Memorial Primary in KwaNxamalala. His studies were cut short in 1990 when he was in grade four because of the violence at the time. He matriculated at Mthoqotho High School in Sweetwaters and furthered his studies at the UKZN PMB campus, where he attained a masters degree in social science.

While at varsity, he served on the students’ representative council (SRC) in various positions and prides himself on being part of the establishment of the first ANC branch in the campus. He also served on the city’s regional executive committee (REC). He said his father, who was a Cosatu member, taught him about politics from a young age and he has been a loyal member of the ANC.

About the ANCYL chairperson position, Dlungane said: “I am very humbled by the confidence young people of KZN have in me”.

He said in his term of office the KZN ANCYL wants “economic freedom in our lifetime”, saying that they will strive for young people to be involved in mainstream economic activities. He added that education and fighting crime are also high on their agenda.

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