ANC youth league leadership race heats up
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.