A 'charlatan', youth league revolt and Jacob Zuma's spies on ANC NEC agenda

2019-07-26 18:57
ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule and his fellow NEC members have crucial issues to discuss this weekend. (Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Felix Dlangamandla)

ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule and his fellow NEC members have crucial issues to discuss this weekend. (Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Felix Dlangamandla)

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At least 200 ANC Youth League members have camped outside St George’s Hotel in Centurion, the stage for this weekend's meeting of the governing party's national executive committee (NEC).

The demonstrators are demanding that the mother body disband the league.

A faction within the league has been campaigning for several months to have the NEC, the ANC's highest decision-making body, form a national task team.

One of the leaders of the pro-disbandment campaign, Zuko Godlimpi, said he was confident it was only a matter of time before a task team was formed. 

Godlimpi has been touted by some to take over as youth league president from outgoing leader Colin Maine.

Speaking to News24 outside the NEC meeting on Friday afternoon, Godlimpi said the disbandment of the league would form part of the national working committee's (NWC) report. 

Earlier News24 reported that the NWC had recommended that the league be disbanded.

Godlimpi said: "In the last five years, this leadership has failed to provide leadership to the youth league. This league has lost its position as a driving force of national discourse. It’s no longer accepted as a credible leader of young people. It’s not the institutional source of a vision for the future. We need the ANC to get them out of office, appoint a task team, and that task team must prepare the youth league for a national conference."

Spokesperson for the disbandment campaign, Ngoako Selamolela, warned the NEC that they would head to the courts if the party did not reach a decision to disband the league this weekend. 

He added that Maine and outgoing youth league secretary general Njabulo Nzuzo should vacate their offices at the party’s Luthuli House headquarters.

"If we find them in their offices, if we see them in meetings of the ANC, we are taking you to a court of law, because you will be delinquent.

"The courts are saying nobody in the country can act in the name, and on behalf of, young people of the ANC. On Monday, if they don’t say what we want to hear, we shall meet in the South Gauteng High Court. It’s very close to Luthuli House, they will simply walk and the courts will simply confirm that they have erred as the NEC," Selamolela told the group of young lions gathered outside.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe addressed the protesting group after receiving a memorandum from them.

Mabe said they had raised the group's call for the league to be disbanded with the NWC.

"The national working committee is filing that memorandum today, with the recommendation to the NEC. We are going to make an announcement on how the youth league is going to be organised henceforth immediately after this NEC. Whatever we are going to do is consistent with what the head of the presidency and the NEC have said that a stronger youth league will breed a stronger ANC [and] a weaker youth league will breed a weaker ANC," said Mabe.

He urged the demonstrators to "swell the ranks of the ANC Youth League" from next week.

"We are going to issue a directive on what needs to happen."

The NEC meeting is expected to be dominated by discussion of claims that committee member Derek Hanekom met with the EFF two years before a motion of no confidence against then president Jacob Zuma.

READ: Fireworks expected at ANC's national executive committee meeting

Earlier this week, EFF leader Julius Malema revealed that Hanekom and SACP second deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila met the red berets to discuss the ousting of Zuma.

Malema alleged that Hanekom fed them information about the ANC's 2017 elective conference and that the former tourism minister and others were planning to form a splinter party if Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma beat Cyril Ramaphosa in the race for the organisation's presidency.

Replying to questions about the claims on Wednesday, Hanekom seemed to suggest to News24 that the EFF's Godrich Gardee requested the meeting, calling it his "initiative".

"I have said - not admitted - that at the time I met Gardee. His initiative, not mine. There is nothing with meeting a fellow MP, which is what we were at the time."

Later that same day, Hanekom said the meeting was on matters of common interest during "a difficult time in South Africa's history".

The ANC, in a statement issued by secretary general Ace Magashule, hit back at Hanekom, describing him as a "charlatan" and a "wedge driver" who was intent on dividing the organisation.

ALSO READ: Derek Hanekom a 'known enemy agent' - Jacob Zuma

It's understood that Jacob Zuma's claims, made at the commission of inquiry into state capture last week, that there were spies in the ANC could also be raised at this weekend's meeting.

Zuma told the commission that Ngoako Ramatlhodi and Siphiwe Nyanda were one-time spies who worked with the apartheid government.

Magashule had said Zuma's claims were serious and should not be ignored.

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Read more on:    anc nec  |  ancyl  |  derek hanekom  |  godrich gardee
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