Poisonous letter Bitter row erupts Leader cops it
AS THE ANC succession debate rages on, it has now caused a rift within the ANC Youth League (ANCYL), with members tearing into each other over preferred candidates.
Central to the spat was a letter by the league’s national executive committee (NEC) members circulated on social media yesterday, which publicly attacked the ANCYL’s president Collen Maine.
The letter, written by Rhulani Thembi Siweya, left league provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo fuming, with calls made for Siweya to be hauled before a disciplinary committee.
Siweya accused Maine of bypassing “some of us” in lobbying for certain leaders to be elected into leadership positions during the ANC conference last month.
Sabelo said the ANCYL should not tolerate Siweya’s conduct.
“There is no way that a leader of the ANCYL goes out publicly to attack the president of the ANCYL. She must not be left unattended to by the national disciplinary committee of the ANCYL,” said Sabelo.
It is believed that AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma was among leaders that Siweya was accusing Maine of campaigning for.
Sabelo, who was also an NEC member, denied Maine lobbied without the NEC’s knowledge,
“If she has a problem with the posture of the president she must come to the NEC as an NEC member. We are very concerned because in the NEC she never raised these issues,” said Sabelo.
Siweya alleged Maine was campaigning for “candidates” without having opened the matter for debate within the league.
“Why don’t we, as the NEC, open the debate about leadership preference and consult structures before you pronounce on their behalf without a mandate to do so?
“Worse, the NEC has never taken a resolution – all I remember is that we agreed to discuss the issue later on. I am saddened you are already all over, expressing yourself and making it sound like an NEC decision,” wrote Siweya.
She called on Maine to stop his actions “because even the ANC has not yet officially allowed us to start debating the matter”.
“We must never do things outside guidelines of the organisation we aspire to lead one day,” he said.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa earlier this week called on party structures to cease dividing the ANC by prematurely endorsing their preferred party presidential candidates.
The ANCYL, ANC Military Veterans Association and ANC Women’s League have announced Dlamini Zuma as their preferred candidate to succeed President Jacob Zuma. Cosatu and the SACP have openly backed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Sabelo yesterday defended the ANCYL for nominating Dlamini Zuma before the appropriate time. “The ANCYL is the body of opinion, so it sparks debate internally.
“We continue to play the same role of Peter Mokaba, Fikile Mbalula, Sihle Zikalala, Malusi Gigaba, Lulu Johnson and Anton Lembede.
“There is absolutely nothing new we have done as the ANCYL. We have done everything the ANCYL was established to do,” said Sabelo.
He said the league nominated Dlamini Zuma because “we are not ashamed of the leaders we want to back. We don’t at all regret having pronounced Nkosazana,” he said.
However, Sabelo, who is also a member of the ANCYL NEC, said the league would discuss the matter with the ANC’s NEC.
“If the ANC feels uncomfortable then we will engage them internally,” said Sabelo.
ANCYL national spokesperson Mlondolozi Mkhize also condemned Siweya.
“We would have hoped that comrade Thembi was going to raise the matter within the structures of the ANCYL,” said Mkhize.
He denied that Maine had pronounced Dlamini Zuma as the league’s preference.
“The president said we do agree with the women’s league on saying we should get a female president; a female president is not a name of an individual,” he said.
University of KwaZulu-Natal political analyst Zakhele Ndlovu said he was expecting more divisions ahead of the conference. He said the situation would be worse after the conference as members of the defeated faction would be left disgruntled.
“This (letter by Siweya) shows that there are serious divisions not only in the mother body, but even in the ANCYL.
“I would even imagine that even the ANCWL would soon hear someone coming out saying we were never consulted about this decision to endorse Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. Between now and October we can expect more of these things,” said Ndlovu.
There is no way that a leader of the ANCYL goes out publicly to attack the president
CENTRE OF ROW: Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma