Detractors won't distract me, says new ANCYL leader

2015-09-11 07:14
ANC Youth League president Collen Maine (Amanda Khoza, News24)

ANC Youth League president Collen Maine (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Johannesburg - Newly elected ANC Youth League leader Collen Maine says he will not let his detractors stop him from focusing on leading the organisation.

This comes after allegations that he was imposed on the ANCYL by a strong lobby group in the mother body called the "premier league", and that he was once a disgruntled member who crossed the floor to the Congress of the People (Cope).

"We have developed a crocodile skin for these things," he told News24 on Thursday.

"We are not worried, we are not puzzled by these accusations. There are external and internal people using this thing."

Earlier this week, Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem confirmed that Maine had defected to the breakaway party after the ANC's Polokwane congress.

Cope was formed in 2008 by former ANC members who were unhappy when former president Thabo Mbeki was unseated.

"It is very unfortunate that Cope... is saying I was a member, but [it] can't produce evidence," Maine said.

"It's quite unfair."

'Long history in ANC'

He explained that in 2008 when Cope was formed members of the ANC would accuse each other of being sympathisers of the party. The same thing happened when the Economic Freedom Fighters was formed, he said.

"We understand the pain of being accused of something you are not."

Maine said he had a long history in the ANC and ANCYL.

His political career started in 1996 when he joined the Congress of SA Students (Cosas) and was a regional leader of the organisation.

In the late 1990s, he served as a branch secretary and a sub-regional chairperson of the ANCYL

In 2002, Maine said he was appointed a full-time organiser of the ANCYL, then in 2005 he was elected to deputy chairperson in the North West.

He also served on a regional executive committee.

In 2009, he went to Parliament where he was the North West chief whip in the National Council of Provinces.

In 2013, he was appointed convenor of the provincial task team after the leadership structures of the ANCYL were disbanded by the mother body.

In the same year, he became the MEC for social development in the North West and in 2014 he was appointed local government and human settlements MEC.

He was also elected North West ANCYL chairperson in 2014.

Read more on:    ancyl  |  collen maine  |  politics

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