It's youth vs 'old' ahead of the ANC Gauteng conference

Lebogang Maile (File, City Press)
Lebogang Maile (File, City Press)

The ANC Youth League in Gauteng has thrown down the gauntlet against the province's current leaders. The league is endorsing former youth league leaders to take over the reigns ahead of what is expected to be a fiercely-contested party elective conference next month.

The provincial executive committee (PEC) has announced its backing of Economic Development MEC Lebogang Maile for the deputy chairperson position and former Emfuleni mayor Jacob Khawe as secretary. Both are former provincial youth league leaders.

Maile will be up against former Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau and Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, while Khawe will be running against incumbent Hope Papo.

The battle ahead of the July conference has pitted the youth league against the current provincial leadership. However, the youth league is said to have the support of a strong lobby group within the province that includes former chairperson Paul Mashatile.

The PEC said in a statement that the youth league was in a crisis of having the "old youth" blaming the older generation for refusing to pass on the leadership baton.

This was apparently "creating traffic and slowing down the process of renewed and energised tenure in both the ANC and youth league", the PEC said.

The youth league has endorsed Premier David Makhura for the position of chairperson. Makhura is expected to stand uncontested, replacing Mashatile, who is now the party's national treasurer general.

Makhura has, however, faced public criticism from some youth league members who have accused him of trying to undercut Maile's and Khawe's campaigns.

Khawe dramatically resigned as Emfuleni Mayor while abroad on Monday, in retaliation after the struggling municipality was placed under semi-provincial administration.

READ: Emfuleni mayor resigns after municipality placed under administration

His supporters argued he had only been in the position for six months and was trying to rescue the municipality from years of mismanagement.

"Where I am standing I will be in a difficult [position] to co-operate with some fundamental historical relationship between [the] Emfuleni Municipality and the provincial treasury officials, of which some verdict will be given," Khawe wrote.

He included the instruction by the provincial treasury that the municipality readvertise positions of directors, as well as the terms of reference, mandate, and authority of both the governance and administration team which they said had not been agreed upon.

The ANC in the province released a terse statement on the resignation and did not formally recognize Khawe stepping down with immediate effect.

"Unfortunately, Cde Jacob Khawe is currently out of the country on council business. Upon his return, our provincial office bearers will engage with him on this issue and only then will we be in a position to comment further," provincial spokesperson Motaletale Modiba said in a statement.

On Maile, Makhura was criticised for releasing a statement stating that a forensic report on a contract in his department had been referred to the Special Investigative Unit for further investigations.

Other members of the youth league has endorsed to be additional members of the province's executive committee include its secretary Bones Modise, current chairperson Matome Chiloane, as well as presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko.

The Gauteng elective conference is expected to be held on from July 6 to 8.

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