People don't know what Maine stands for - analysts

2015-09-11 05:37
ANC Youth League president Collen Maine (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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

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Johannesburg - Little is known about new ANC Youth League leader Collen Maine and first impressions have been anything but glowing following his maiden address at the national congress last week.

However, Maine has hit back saying he will write his own chapter in the ANCYL.

According to political analyst Prince Mashele, Maine has failed to indentify himself and his ideas as ANCYL leader.

"Very little is known [about] him... what he stands for, which is why people suggest that he has been imposed by the premier league. They know he is pliable because he has no ideas of his own."

Mashele said this was in contrast to former youth league leaders like Julius Malema and Fikile Mbalula.

"If you remember these people, before they were elected, they were already known. They had articulated positions of their own with regard to the position of the youth league and how they want to position [it] and where they understand the youth league to be coming from.

"I don't know what he stands for," Mashele said.

'Premier league'

In the run-up to the ANCYL congress, it was alleged that Maine was the "premier league's" preferred candidate for president and that he was being imposed on the ANCYL.

The premier league was said to be made up of three ANC provincial chairpersons who are premiers - North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo, Free State Premier Ace Magashule and Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza.

During his maiden address to the congress on Sunday, Maine denied that there was such a thing as the "premier league" and has called it a ghost issue.

Maine was nominated at the congress unopposed despite former ANCYL treasurer Pule Mabe and deputy president Ronald Lamola being nominated from the floor.

The two former league leaders did not receive enough votes to qualify to contest the position.

Speaking to News24 on Thursday, the newly elected youth league president said he could not be compared to former leaders.

"I have to write my own chapter. I'm not Mbalula.

"We want to go back to basics, we want to refocus and reaffirm the youth league as the leader for the youth in society," he said when asked about his ideas for the league going forward.

'We are not going to be anarchists'

Maine said the ANCYL under his leadership would not be the same as the one under Malema, but the league would continue to be militant and robust.

"However, we are not going to be anarchists."

During his closing address at congress, Maine apologised to the ANC for the way the league had behaved under Malema and vowed that under him it would defend the party and President Jacob Zuma.

Reflecting on the address, Mashele said Maine had missed an opportunity to stamp his authority. He failed to demonstrate that he knew the youth league and missed the opportunity to outline his plans on how to position it.

"[This] is why people are still speculating as to what kind of guy this is. What exactly does he stand for? He did not actually come out and say [it], other than regurgitating what had been said by other leaders at the congress and pledging support for Zuma."

Some political analysts are convinced that Maine was parachuted into the position of ANCYL president by the "premier league".

'They have someone they can control'

Another analyst Protas Madlala said he had no doubt that ANC leaders were anxious, choosing Maine because he would not ruffle feathers.

"They have someone they can control," he said.

"I have no doubt that he was imposed by the leadership. Everything was engineered a long time ago because they don’t want another Malema.

"They probably told him that if he takes the position he can never defy the mother body. I am sure he is watching every move he makes and every word he says.”

Madlala said the ANC was killing itself and, in the process, feeding the opposition.

Said Mashale: "The fact that this guy [Maine] comes from the North West and he is an MEC there lends credence to these allegations.

"I believe the allegations that this premier league exists and they may have plotted to forward a guy like this."

Before June, when the congress had to be delayed, Maine's name was not mentioned as a presidential hopeful.

"For a guy like that suddenly in a short space of time just to sky rocket into a position like that tells me, knowing how politics works, that there must have been serious lobbying behind the scenes for him ... that he was elected in that congress unopposed."

'We will do what the generation of 1944 did'

Despite all these allegations Maine is confident he can take the ANCYL forward and has claimed that there are people inside and outside the organisation who want to see him fail.

He said the first thing the new ANCYL leadership would do was implement the resolutions taken at congress and engage the ANC on those.

"We are aware that the ANC may not like some of the resolutions we have taken, but we must take them to the ANC and we will do what the generation of 1944 did - engage the ANC."

One of the resolutions taken by the ANCYL was a call for 40% of representation of young people in government.

Maine said he knew some in the mother body would not be happy with this, but the ANCYL was going to push for it.

"We are going to develop a programme and publicise it and we are going to be remembered as this youth league."

Read more on:    ancyl  |  collen maine  |  politics

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