Concerns that squabbles could put ANCYL national conference at risk

2018-10-30 11:03
ANCYL secretary general Njabulo Nzuza. (Thapelo Maphakela, City Press)

ANCYL secretary general Njabulo Nzuza. (Thapelo Maphakela, City Press)

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ANC Youth League secretary general Njabulo Nzuza claims that there are people in the league who are set on "attacking" his office and attempting to create a perception that it's useless.

This after the Gauteng ANCYL's provincial executive committee (PEC) raised concerns about Nzuza’s handling of processes leading up to the league’s national conference scheduled for December.

The PEC also noted that some of its branches and regions were unhappy with Gauteng secretary, Bones Modise, who has since been placed on suspension.

The youth league is expected to elect new leaders at the December conference.

ANCYL Gauteng spokesperson Mbali Hlope told News24 last week that the PEC had resolved to write a letter of complaint to ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, whose office was tasked with leading a national task team to help the party’s youth hold a successful conference.

"It’s also come to our realisation that we are not the only province suffering from this. Other provinces have complained that their files are being taken away, hampering their branches from sitting and preparing for conference," claimed Hlope.

She said some believed that it was "sabotage".

Nzuza responded by saying that "some comrades have taken a posture to just attack the office of the SG. I know this has been planned. It's orchestrated, an attempt to render the office useless and unable to operate".

A fierce contest has been brewing in the league as different camps throw their weight behind either ANCYL KwaZulu-Natal secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo or ANCYL treasurer general Reggie Nkabinde to take over the reins.

Also read: ANCYL presidential candidate Sabelo will make the league vibrant again – ANCYL Gauteng

'We have tried our best to help Gauteng'

Mcebo Dlamini - former University of Witwatersrand SRC president and one of the faces of the Fees Must Fall movement - might have been late to the party, but he too has expressed ambitions to serve at the helm of the youth structure.

Nzuza told News24 that he had not taken any sides in the race for the ANCYL leadership, instead raising questions about the state of the league in Gauteng.

"We have tried our best to help Gauteng. They failed to convene their own congress. All this because of the failures of the PEC, which today doesn’t want to take collective responsibility," he said.

Nzuza said his office had assisted regions such as Tshwane and Ekurhuleni, which had managed to hold successful conferences.

"We have seen this thing before with Gauteng. Everything that is wrong is not because of them, but external forces," he said, adding that those who wanted his office investigated were more than welcome to do so.

Hlope said the PEC wanted to take its regions to congress, "as these structures are long overdue".

"However, with missing files and complaints of some files being tampered with, it makes our job difficult," she added.

She also addressed the secretary general’s criticism of the league in Gauteng.

'Reggie's war room'

"The notion that Gauteng province likes to blame everyone but itself is rather strange and sounds more like an attitude against the province than an organisational view," she remarked, adding that there was nothing to support Nzuza’s view.

Hlope's view has been supported by many members of the Gauteng ANCYL.

"Njabulo had just been frustrating this process. He is definitely to blame for everything going wrong," said one league member, who wished to remain anonymous.

The party member accused the secretary general of taking membership files to be processed at a house in Killarney, which he referred to as "Reggie’s war room", adding that Nzuza was working with the outgoing treasurer and trying to give him an advantage over other candidates.

Nzuza insists he had not taken any sides.

Another league member from the province claimed that Nzuza was not trying to assist Nkabinde, but rather trying to halt the conference from going ahead in December.

"More than stealing conference, he is trying to push for it not to sit. Reggie honestly has no chances; the margins are far apart. He just won’t get the numbers," said the ANCYL member.

The party insider said it was about the list conference and the current leaders of the league seeking to control who makes it onto the party’s lists for Parliament and provincial legislatures ahead of the 2019 general elections.

'They blame each other'

The ANCYL previously pushed to have a 40% youth representation in all ANC deployments. However, the mother body agreed to 20%.

"With around 40 weeks to go before conference, not a single branch general meeting has been held in the country. Njabulo is, instead, sending out pre-audits. He is obviously attempting to delay this thing. Those people in charge might not get along, but they agree on delaying conference," said the insider.

Magashule, when it came to the squabbles in the ANCYL, blamed everyone.

"It’s not only the secretary general, it's about one another. They blame each other. It's not about individuals, because not one individual can run an organisation," said Magashule when asked to comment on the matter.

He said the task team had met with the league leadership three times and was confident that things would go well.

"We are not taking over from the ANC Youth League. We respect the structure; the NEC of the ANCYL is there. Our [task] is to assist them to go to conference. They will go in December from the 16th," said Magashule.

"Ours is to deal with them, their challenges, the disputes they have. We will address those disputes with them. We are not taking over," he said.

Read more on:    anc  |  ancyl  |  johannesburg

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