Delegates outraged after mother body reverts to consultative process
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.