ANC Youth League conference postponed yet again

Thandi Mahambehlala is seen during the African National Congress Youth League rally in Germiston. (Felix Dlangamandla, Gallo Images, Beeld, file)
Thandi Mahambehlala is seen during the African National Congress Youth League rally in Germiston. (Felix Dlangamandla, Gallo Images, Beeld, file)

The ANC Youth League's (ANCYL) national task team has announced that its intention to deliver its 26th national conference this month has been unsuccessful.

It will no longer take place in March but in May at the University of the Free State.

Convenor Thandi Mahambehlala made the announcement on Monday following a meeting of the task team last week.

She told journalists at a media briefing that it had resolved to review the date of the conference considering delays to verification and membership capturing processes.

Mahambehlala said most branches had been verified, while some provinces and regions were not able to submit membership status details to the structure.

"The rebuilding of the ANCYL must be a holistic process that is able to ensure the participation of young people across the length and breadth of our country who paid their membership fees."

The youth league has struggled to hold a conference since 2018 and this resulted in the executive, led by former president Collen Maine, being disbanded.

This was the second dissolution of the structure, with the previous one being when now-EFF leader Julius Malema was president in 2012.

The task team announced it would be "reinforcing" co-ordinator Sibongile Besani's office with former presidents and leaders of the organisation, with Lulu Johnson, Malusi Gigaba, Fikile Mbalula, Maine, Dakota Lekgoete and Nomvula Mokonyane among those who would take up the cudgels.

Ructions between the structure made headlines last month when Besani resigned which was rejected by the ANC's secretary-general, Ace Magashule.

Besani, who also heads up party president Cyril Ramaphosa's office, had complained of statements being released in his name without his knowledge and duplicate audit processes.

His reaction was sparked by a scathing statement released by the task team criticising the KwaZulu-Natal High Court for issuing a stayed warrant of arrest against former president Jacob Zuma for not pitching up for his corruption trial.

Mahambehlala said the move to strengthen Besani's office was not an indication of the structure having failed to deliver on its mandate.

"It means success and for us to expedite the process because young people want Umshini wabo [their machine gun] and we ourselves are too old to prolong the processes of taking the ANCYL to its congress," she added.

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