Race to replace Mbalula: the candidates
Limpopo youth league secretary Julias Malema (27) became involved in politics at the age of 10— through the ANC’s Young Pioneer Movement (Mashupatsela) in the early 1990s.
He joined the ANCYL at the age of 14 and was elevated to the leadership position in 1995 as the league’s branch chairperson in Seshego, near Polokwane. In the same year he was elected the regional chairman of the Capricorn region in Polokwane.
In 1997 he became the provincial chairperson of the Congress of South African Students (Cosas). Before he was elected provincial secretary of the ANCYL in 2004, he served as president of Cosas nationally. A key supporter of ANC president Jacob Zuma, Malema played a major role in getting Zuma to the helm of the ANC. —
Nkosifikile Gqomo (33) was ANC Youth League provincial spokesperson in the Eastern Cape until the league in the province was disbanded in 2006.
He was one of the league members in the province who endorsed calls for President Thabo Mbeki to stand as ANC president for a third term, which the ANCYL nationally opposed.
Gqomo has served as a member of the ANC’s provincial executive committee in the Eastern Cape since 2004.
Born in Mhlontlo, in Qumbu, he got involved in politics while in high school as a member of Cosas in the former Transkei. He joined the ANCYL before the 1994 elections. —
Songezo Mjongile, a businessman and a member of the league’s national executive committee, is one of the favourites to replace Fikile Mbalula.
Mjongile is a director of companies, including the youth league’s investment arm, Lembede Investment Holdings.
In 2006 Mjongile was charged with tax fraud for failing to submit correct tax returns between 2001 and 2005. He was alleged to have unlawfully and with intent tried to defraud the taxman by pretending that he received no income during that tax period.
South African Revenue Service (Sars) investigations revealed that more than R4,8-million was deposited into Mjongile’s account during the period, including a single deposit of R2,1-million in 2004.
He was connected to the late mining magnate, Brett Kebble. It was alleged that Kebble made the deposit into Mjongile’s account. Mjongile was allowed by Sars to settle the matter out of court.
The president of the league has to be younger than 35. Mjongile turns 34 this year.—