Poi­sonous let­ter Bit­ter row erupts Leader cops it

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - BON­GANI HANS

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

Pic­ture: Pa­trick Mtolo

CEN­TRE OF ROW: Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma

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