ANC NWC endorse calls to disband youth league NEC

The NWC reportedly endorsed appeals to disband the league’s beleaguered National Executive Committee (NEC) during a meeting Monday. The move coincides with pleas from ANC members for the renewal of the ANCYL.

There’s a growing chorus among ANC Youth League (ANCYL) members agitating for replacing the league’s current leadership with a national task team in the lead up to its 26th conference.

On Friday, 31 May 2019, young people picketed outside St George’s Hotel in Tshwane at the ANC special National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting demanding the highest organ of the ANC –between national conferences–disband the ANCYL NEC.

What’s in it for me

Collen Maine was elected ANCYL president in 2015, along with his deputy, Desmond Moela, secretary general Njabulo Nzuza, deputy secretary general Thandi Moraka and Reggie Nkabinde as treasurer general.

Their term of office lapsed last year and they failed to take the league to conference so far. Some members have openly accused the leadership of using the League to advance their personal political careers.

Rebone Tau, a former ANCYL National Task Team Member believes it’s the other way round. “The crisis in which the ANCYL finds itself is because of some ANC NEC members who want to control the ANCYL to push their own agendas that don’t serve the interests of the organization,” he recently said.

In April last year, ANCYL leadership hopeful Ndumiso Mokako accused the wing’s top five of excessive gate-keeping; sidelining those who held different views; and only focusing on branches in the lead up to conference where leaders would be elected.

Four of the five are now serving in the National Assembly or in the provincial legislatures. Nzuza was recently appointed Deputy Minister of Home Affairs.

Betraying the rich history of the ANC nursery?

Throughout their term, the current ANCYL leadership have been criticized for failing to live up to the standards of the League which boasts a rich history of producing respected leaders.  

Instead, the five were often accused of being “henchmen” and “proxies” for some of the elders in the mother body.

In 2018, the ANC NEC set up a task team to administer and oversee preparations for the conference. This group was led by ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule and included prominent former ANCYL members Dakota Legoete, Pule Mabe and Zizi Kodwa.

Not all league members are happy with the composition of the task team, however. One member said it was time to revive the league and ensure it becomes both relevant and credible.

“We don’t want a national task team that is composed of the elders. Zizi and Dakota are part of the administration,” said another.

This would be the second task team appointed in the last 10 years. The ANC disbanded its youth wing in 2013 following the expulsion of then president Julius Malema, who is now, of course, the leader of the EFF.

Despite the growing chorus to disband the ANCYL executive, some members have voiced concern at having to start over again.

“A disbandment is a distraction. It takes too long to start the process over and by the time the league is ready, a year or so would have passed,” an ANC member pointed out. He described the move as lazy and a short cut which the ANC should avoid.

Will they or won’t they? The ANC meeting in Cape Town next week is expected to provide a definitive answer.

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