Chaos, nudity mar ANCYL talks

2008-04-08 07:33

Bloemfontein - The last day of the African National Congress Youth League's national conference at the University of the Free State was characterised on Monday by, among other things, public nudity, allegations of racism and organisational chaos.

Although a new leader for the organisation was eventually appointed, seven of the nine provincial representatives claimed that the election had been irregular.

By Monday evening, Youth League spokesperson Zizi Kodwa admitted that a new conference might have to be held within the next six months to sort out the mess.

When the election co-ordinator announced that Julius Malema had beaten Saki Mofokeng by a mere 1 883 votes against 1 696 votes, there was big trouble - only the provincial secretaries of Mpumalanga and Limpopo did not object to the election procedures.

The top four

Malema's supporters also filled the four other top positions: Andile Lugisa of the Eastern Cape was chosen as vice-president, Vuyiswa Tulelo of the Northern Cape as secretary-general, Steven Ngobeni of Mpumalanga as vice-secretary-general and Pule Mabe of Gauteng as treasurer-general.

Some of the allegations made were that the wrong people had been registered, that people had voted illegally, that people had been prevented from voting and that the votes had been counted incorrectly.

Meetings were held on Monday evening to look into whether any proof for these allegations existed.

To add to the chaos, delegates from various provinces said their provincial secretaries had had no mandate to complain about the election process.

It was added that the secretaries were not speaking on behalf of their provinces, but were individuals who were disappointed with the results for their own political reasons.

By Monday the conference had carried on for a day longer than planned.

The ANCYL's financial records were also "missing" after the retiring treasurer-general's bag had disappeared.

In light of these problems, Kodwa said a new national conference was possible.

"There are no words to describe the disappointment of the retiring leadership with this conference. The misconduct, level of competition, lack of discipline and unwillingness to accept results remind one of Zimbabwe and Kenya.

"This also can threaten the future of the Youth League," said Kodwa.

Examples of this were plentiful while delegates waited for results on the campus of the University of the Free State.

Allegations of drunkenness, sexual misconduct and murder were openly made by delegates.

Food thrown around

One man even dropped his pants to show his buttocks to Mofokeng's supporters.

Other allegations of misconduct poured in on Monday.

Service providers said food was thrown around in dining tents, but that witnesses had been prevented from taking photos.

Staff of businesses near the campus said that Youth League members shopped with clearly visible firearms and that black members of the Youth League had used racist language towards coloured workers.