ANC Youth League fights to live

ANCYL leader Collen Maine
ANCYL leader Collen Maine

Members of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) will protest outside the venue of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting in Cape Town on Wednesday to ensure that it implements a recommendation from its national working committee (NWC) that the current league leadership be disbanded.

Last Monday the NWC took a decision in favour of disbandment, but some members of the beleaguered youth league believe the NEC must be prevailed on to act accordingly.

“We will be going to Cape Town [this] week and, as the NEC convenes on Wednesday as scheduled, we will picket outside. It is about time that the youth league was disbanded. Leaders are over the stipulated age of 35 and their term of office expired in September.

“By being still in office is a direct violation of the party’s own constitution,” said Zuko Godlimpi, a youth league member who has been at the forefront of the call for the disbandment of the structure.

Youth league members said apart from the fact that most of the league’s leadership did not qualify, based on their ages and the expiry of their term, the majority of them had also been appointed to Parliament or provincial legislatures.

“This could mean that their focus would now be split should they continue to be at the helm of the youth league.”

ANCYL leader Collen Maine and his deputy Desmond Moela, have been appointed to Parliament following the elections. ANCYL secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza has been appointed deputy minister of home affairs while deputy secretary-general Thandi Moraka is now in the Limpopo legislature [appointed as MEC for sports].

Godlimpi said youth league members had not been sitting idly but had approached ANC provincial structures and were “galvanizing support”.

“On Friday [June 7] our members marched to the Limpopo and Eastern Cape ANC provincial offices and lobbied them to support our call to disband the league when the NEC seats on Wednesday. Last Wednesday and Thursday our Gauteng and Mpumalanga members approached their provincial head offices and requested that they support the call to disband the youth structure,” he said.

Speaking just after receiving the memorandum of demands from the protesting ANCYL members, party secretary-general Ace Magashule and national spokesperson Pule Mabe said last week that the structure was still pivotal to the ruling party’s success and they promised to give the matter “the urgent attention it deserved”.

The disgruntled youth league members directed their frustrations at Luthuli House last week where they picketed and handed over a memorandum of demands.

Expressing similar sentiments as those of Godlimpi, former president of the ANC-aligned SA Student Congress and now Limpopo youth league member, Ngoako Selamolela, said: “ANCYL president Collen Maine and his collective were occupying the organisation’s offices illegally as their term endedlast year.”

Godlimpi cautioned the party not to dismantle the youth structure entirely in the manner the party did when its national disciplinary committee found then leader Julius Malema guilt of bringing the ANC into disrepute.

“The NEC should, after disbanding the ANCYL, appoint a national task team that will hold the fort and ensure the youth league’s readiness to go to its elective conference to elect new leadership.”

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