WE DON’T WANT ANOTHER MALEMA
THE PREMIER LEAGUE
The “Premier League” is apparently an offshoot of the former ANC provincial chairperson’s forum, which then included Zweli Mkhize and Paul Mashatile.
One of the first public projects of the Premier League was in 2013, when Free State Premier Ace Magashule combined resources with North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo to save the ANC from losing crucial by-elections in North West’s Tlokwe municipality.
Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza was later associated with the group.
The title Premier League was coined officially ahead of the planned youth league conference last November, which was later turned into a consultative conference.
It emerged last November that the strategy of the Premier League was to get its preferred candidates to emerge as leaders in both the youth league and the women’s league, with a view to using both these structures and their provincial support bases as launch pads to the ANC 2017 succession race. The ultimate goal appears to be that at least one of the group’s members should be elected in the ANC’s top six in 2017.
WILL IT WORK?
The league has had early success in its 2017 campaign. Winning both the women’s league and the youth league conference gave the group early momentum.
There is a risk, however, that those isolated by the group could come together and challenge its plans. There are powerful ANC leaders who feel threatened by the Premier League and this may open the group to a significant offensive from inside and outside the party.
WHO IS COLLEN MAINE?
The little-known candidate, originally from Taung in the North West, pipped two national figures for the youth league race. A former MP, Maine was brought back to the North West by former premier Thandi Modise, who appointed him as a local government MEC in 2013.
He has a background in the ANC student movement, the Congress of SA Students. His opponents, though, have linked him controversially to a group of North West ANC leaders who left the party to join Cope in 2009 when Luthuli House disbanded the North West ANC provincial executive committee because of instability. But the Cope claims have not deterred Maine’s rise in ANC structures.
THREE LEADERS From top: North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo; Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza and Free State Premier Ace Magashule