Youth league veers from ludicrous to embarrassing - Times LIVE
Fri Mar 24 08:12:40 SAST 2017

Youth league veers from ludicrous to embarrassing

The Times Editorial | 2017-01-27 07:40:16.0
Protesting ANC Youth League members stormed into an Absa branch in Durban on Thursday‚ demanding that the bank pay back the money. File photo
Image by: Rogan Ward via YouTube

There is little that illustrates the malaise in the ANC more accurately than the ANC Youth League.

Yesterday saw the league on another collision course between its face and an egg as it threatened to target Absa with branch protests and an avalanche of calls to its call centre.

Its "pay back the money" campaign is centred on the recently leaked public protector's report on an apartheid-era bailout loan which suggests some continuing liability for the banking group.

Besides the fact that Absa's alleged liability is still to be finalised - the leaked report was provisional - there is little chance that the league's campaign will go anywhere. At the time of writing there was little evidence that it had much support.

This is not surprising, since the league appears to be an organisation in search of a cause and a reason to exist.

The space it once occupied has been utterly stolen by the EFF.

Now, as the league attempts to find a touch-point to justify its existence, its statements and positions swing from the ludicrous to the embarrassing.

Only this week the league in eThekwini had to issue a grovelling apology after it called for Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's head.

But hardly was the apology out than the league's national leadership threw caution to the wind and repeated the attack on Gordhan. "We accept the apology of KZN, but agree with the content of what they were saying," said its national spokesman.

Franz Kafka appears to have found his equal.

Increasingly the league's statements appear to be nothing more than thinly disguised proxies for interest groups aligned to state capture.

This is not entirely surprising considering its president Collen "Oros" Maine has yet to explain the whiff of Gupta financing relating to his R140000-a-month mortgage for his fancy Pretoria home. Absa, by the way, did not give him the home loan.

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