Talks to replace youth league’s Maine
THE ANC Youth League is in talks over who should succeed Collen Maine in a bid to avoid a bruising contest.
KwaZulu-Natal, one of its biggest provinces, has initiated the negotiations to push for its secretary, Thanduxolo Sabelo, to be elected president unopposed.
The league’s elective conference will take place between September 6 and 11 at Johannesburg’s Nasrec Expo Centre, the same venue where President Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as the mother body leader in December.
Thulisa Ndlela, the youth league’s eThekwini regional spokesperson, said although the province initiated engagements, it was uncompromising in having Sabelo elected to lead.
“We are trying to have an uncontested congress as the youth league is trying to unite,” he said.
Ndlela said to secure the presidency for Sabelo, the province would allow other provinces to submit their preferred names for the other four positions in the top five.
“We are engaging with other provinces saying, ‘Comrades, let us not contest each other, and instead we should reach consensus on other top positions’. This will help to build the youth league, which has significant challenges,” said Ndlela.
The league’s treasurer-general Reggie Nkabinde and the youth wing’s national executive committee member Ndumiso Mokako had been earmarked to contest Sabelo for the presidency. Late last year, Sabelo was endorsed by outgoing president Maine as his preferred replacement.
Ndlela said KwaZulu-Natal was trying to avoid a situation where there were too many candidates, as was the case in the run-up to the mother body’s conference.
“We are saying, ‘Comrades, let us agree that this guy is a better person to lead us.’ Now we have to also agree who should be secretary-general, who should be deputy, who should be treasurer. That is what we are trying to get to right now, which is why we have not nominated candidates for the whole top five,” he said.
Mokako, whose nomination mostly came from various regions of his Mpumalanga province, said the engagements were aimed at building a stronger and united ANCYL.
“We are persuading each other for the best leadership of the youth league. The task of leading the ANCYL cannot be left with members alone. We need to determine the challenges the organisation is facing,” he said.
He described Sabelo and Nkabinde as his comrades and brothers and also indicated he was interested in becoming the president.
“When the time to nominate comes, I will go to my branch and indicate whether I am available or not, depending on the outcome of the engagements,” Mokako said.
Sabelo said he would make himself available for the presidency, but whether or not he takes the position would depend on the outcome of engagements.
“If the members of the youth league believe there is someone else capable of leading I would definitely step aside,” he said.
ANCYL spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize said it was advisable for candidates to engage over positions as this would result in “minimal hostility” at the national congress.
“When leaders leave it to branches to decide, everyone digs in their heels, and it even becomes difficult to place people who have required expertise in the office,” he said.
The consensus would assist the conference to spend more time on policy matters rather than voting for leaders.