ANC youth league lead­er­ship race heats up

CityPress - - News - CAI­PHUS KGOSANA cai­phus.kgosana@city­press.co.za

The ANC youth league pres­i­dency is now a three-way bat­tle be­tween for­mer trea­surer Pule Mabe, youth league task team co­or­di­na­tor Ma­gasela Mzobe and for­mer deputy pres­i­dent Ron­ald Lamola – and in­trigu­ing con­tests are emerg­ing for some of the other top po­si­tions.

Deputy Min­is­ter of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Mduduzi Manana ap­pears on Mabe’s slate as deputy pres­i­dent.

Manana was in the dis­banded league’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee led by Julius Malema.

He was one of the first to break ranks when it made pub­lic its pref­er­ence for Kgalema Mot­lanthe to re­place Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma as ANC pres­i­dent. Mzobe, the co­or­di­na­tor of the na­tional task team that has run the af­fairs of the league since its dis­band­ment, has roped in for­mer SA Stu­dents’ Congress pres­i­dent Mawethu Rune to run as sec­re­tary­gen­eral on his ticket.

Lamola was Malema’s deputy be­fore the league was dis­banded. He is in the run­ning with for­mer North West ANC spokesper­son Kenny Moro­long as his deputy and Ntibi Modise as sec­re­tary-gen­eral.

Modise was a mem­ber of the for­mer ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee.

The youth league in Gaut­eng is hold­ing its provin­cial elec­tive con­fer­ence, which ends to­day, and those fa­mil­iar with the dy­nam­ics of the province say it is likely the body will back ei­ther Mabe or Lamola.

Mzobe is said to be stronger in other prov­inces. How­ever, there is un­hap­pi­ness with what is per­ceived to be his strong hand in the over­all lead­er­ship race.

He has been ac­cused of pre­vent­ing the par­tic­i­pa­tion of branches he deems to be a threat to his am­bi­tions from up­com­ing con­fer­ences.

ANC youth league sources who spoke to City Press this week said this sit­u­a­tion was re­play­ing it­self through­out the coun­try.

“The po­si­tion of na­tional task team co­or­di­na­tor has worked in [Mzobe’s] favour, but has made him un­pop­u­lar be­cause many of our mem­bers are ac­cus­ing him of ma­nip­u­lat­ing pro­cesses and rig­ging branches,” said a North West youth league mem­ber who asked not to be named.

Dis­grun­tled North West branches are con­test­ing the re­sults of the provin­cial youth league con­fer­ence held last week­end where North West Lo­cal Govern­ment and Hu­man Set­tle­ments MEC Collen Maine was elected chair­per­son.

The Lamola camp has vowed to fight on de­spite the odds.

The two are said to be sup­ported in their lead­er­ship bid by Gaut­eng ANC Youth League chair­per­son Le­bo­gang Maile, the province’s MEC for eco­nomic devel­op­ment.

“Maile does not have in­ten­tions of stand­ing for the youth league lead­er­ship as he turns 35 in De­cem­ber,” said an in­sider with knowl­edge of the pro­cesses. The youth league has a cut-off age of 35.

It is be­lieved that var­i­ous re­gions in KwaZulu-Natal, Gaut­eng, the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape also back the Lamola/Moro­long bid.

Mem­bers of the league’s na­tional task team met five of the ANC’s top six officials on Fri­day to dis­cuss their readi­ness for the na­tional con­fer­ence and to talk about di­vi­sions in the task team.

A task team mem­ber said the congress would be held from Septem­ber 25 to 28 and the ANC would help to fund it.

The con­fer­ence will cost an es­ti­mated R20 mil­lion.

Pule Mabe

Ron­ald Lamola

Ma­gasela Mzobe

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