Get behind your leaders - new ANCYL president

2015-09-07 09:35
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 president Collen Maine has denied being associated with a strong lobby group in the ANC who believe themselves to be the kingmakers in the ruling party's succession race for 2017.

In his maiden address at the league's national congress on Sunday, Maine said there was no such thing as the so-called "premier league" and referred to it as an "unfortunate phenomenon".

The "premier league" is said to include North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo, Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza and Free State Premier Ace Magashule. They were said to be a lobby group pushing for Maine's election, in the hope that he would support their candidates for the ANC's top six leaders who will be elected in 2017.

"The notion of the premier league has become a thorn, comrades," Maine said.

"Mostly in some quarters within our alliance structures that seems to be given prominence to the point where it is being discussed and we are of the view that it is wrong as the youth league."

'Ghost issue'

He said the league had to question the interests of those in the ANC processes who entertained this "ghost issue".

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

This is linked to 2017, when the ruling party elects a successor to President Jacob Zuma. If Maine is leader of the youth league, it is believed that he will be in a position to help those who want positions in the ANC's top-six structure.

Maine's comments came a week after the SA Communist Party, in a response to queries about the "premier league", said it condemned the "factional, corrupt and corporate capture of our movement".

However it said it would not mention any individuals or positions they held.

The SACP, an ANC alliance partner, expressed concern that these elements seemed to be increasing in the run-up to 2017.

Mahumapelo was present at the ANCYL congress on Friday night when Maine was nominated unopposed.


During his maiden address on Sunday, Maine said there were no victors or losers from the congress and urged ANCYL members to get rid of any factions.

"We must go and disband all lobby groups that may have arisen as you were advancing towards this congress.

"Leadership has been elected... there is no confusion and everyone will be expected to rally behind the elected leadership," he said.

Nominations for alternative ANCYL presidential candidates were unsuccessful, with the likes of former deputy president Ronald Lamola not being able to garnish enough votes to qualify to stand for the position.

This led to some tension as his supporters called for a recount. This request was denied numerous times.

Maine called on members not to sow division but to work together now to rebuild the ANCYL, which has not had official leaders for almost two years.

"May we all be focused towards rebuilding, refocusing and reaffirm the centrality of the oldest revolutionary movement in South Africa," he said.

Read more on:    anc  |  ancyl  |  collen maine  |  politics

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