Del­e­gates out­raged after mother body re­verts to con­sul­ta­tive process

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

This is in view of wide­spread acts of vi­o­lence and in­tim­i­da­tion in many prov­inces be­cause of dis­putes over branch mem­ber­ship au­dits, al­le­ga­tions of “ghost mem­ber­ship” and vote-rig­ging.

An­nounc­ing the con­ver­sion of the na­tional con­fer­ence into a con­sul­ta­tive congress, the league’s na­tional task team co­or­di­na­tor, Ma­gasela Mzobe, said: “The task team re­flected on the state of the ANCYL.

“After con­sul­ta­tion, it has been re­solved that this week’s con­fer­ence will be con­verted as a con­sul­ta­tive na­tional con­fer­ence to deal with or­gan­i­sa­tional re­ports (while) the elec­tive con­fer­ence will be post­poned to early next year,” he said.

In what could be an ad­mis­sion that the ef­forts to re­build the ANCYL have failed, the ANC also dis­banded the league’s task team.

ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa de­fended the decision to col­lapse the elec­tive con­fer­ence into a con­sul­ta­tive fo­rum.

“It’s not the first time that the ANCYL holds the con­sul­ta­tive con­fer­ence. It’s part of the process of re­build­ing the league. Elec­tion on its own doesn’t de­fine the con­fer­ence,” Kodwa said.

He con­firmed the dis­band­ment of the task team, al­beit in­ad­ver­tently: “It will be upon the con­fer­ence to say what then hap­pens to the task team. We can­not spec­u­late about it.”

The decision could yet prove to be a dou­ble-edged sword for the ANC.

The Star spoke to sev­eral re­gional lead­ers, and most of their sen­ti­ments high­lighted the cor­ro­sive na­ture of fac­tional pol­i­tics within the mother body around the ANCYL. They re­quested that their iden­tity not be re­vealed for fear of reprisals.

“We are not happy about this at all. This is a po­lit­i­cal decision by peo­ple with vested in­ter­ests in the league, but fail­ing to get what they want. We think this is a recipe for con­flict be­cause we see it as part of the ANC’s at­tempts to re­duce the league to a labour desk for the mother body,” a re­gional leader from Gaut­eng said.

An East­ern Cape leader said: Peo­ple are used to ar­rang­ing lead­er­ship, but it won’t work this time round. We are go­ing to the congress to elect the new lead­er­ship, and we will fight any­body who tries to dic­tate to us.”

A re­gional leader from Lim­popo said: “We are go­ing to re­volt. We don’t care whether it’s Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma or (ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral) Gwede Man­tashe (try­ing to dic­tate to us).”

But another re­gional leader from Gaut­eng had a dif­fer­ent view: “’We think this is the best decision the ANC has ever taken. Peo­ple have been cam­paign­ing with money, T-shirts and pro­duc­ing CDs cam­paign­ing for the lead­er­ship po­si­tion, which is not in keep­ing with the cul­ture of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.”

Zuma is ex­pected to ad­dress the del­e­gates to­mor­row.

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