Johannesburg - The ANC has said it cannot silence its youth league when it questions the leadership of the political party.
Responding to a call made by ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leaders on Thursday for an early elective conference, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the league should take its demands to party leaders.
"All structures of the organisation are trying to analyse what influenced the electoral decline of the ANC and what best we need to do to correct that. If their understanding of the performance is that the leadership contributed to that they then have all the right to engage the ANC in the decision they took," he said.
During a media briefing the ANCYL decried the party's performance in the 2016 local government elections, saying the ANC could not absolve itself of people's unhappiness with the party.
The party experienced an overall decline in the 2016 elections, failing to retain power in any of the country's metros.
Public spats, corruption
The ANC is expected to elect new leadership in 2017, but there has been division in the party over the type of leadership needed to take the party forward, with some calling for female leadership and others a younger set of leaders.
The young lions, as the league is also known, hit out at the current crop of leaders for public spats and condemned those who taint the name of the party with corrupt activities.
It also said the party would be in trouble if it failed to regenerate.
Kodwa said the league was correct to raise its concerns but needs to take them forward within the party.
"It has raised an issue, correctly so and well within their rights. It must then take it up with structures of the ANC, to say, 'In our views as the league you as the national executive committee might have contributed to the decline of the ANC and [we] don't believe going forward things will change under your leadership', that's what it needs to present to the ANC."
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