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Charges dog ANC youth's rise to top

08 September 2015 - 02:13 By Nathi Olifant

It has been only three days since the ANC Youth League leadership elections but already the knives are out for the new secretary-general, Njabulo Nzuza. Nzuza, who was elected at the ANCYL national conference in Midrand on Saturday, said references now being made to his run-ins with the law are part of a smear campaign.Nzuza was the little-known secretary of the youth league in the Musa Dladla ANC region (Richards Bay/Empangeni) before his sudden rise on Saturday.In July 2007, a case of fraud was opened against him in Empangeni but was later withdrawn.Another fraud case was opened against him in March 2012 in Richards Bay but he was not found guilty . In July 2012, Nzuza was arrested in Mtunzini and charged with driving without a licence but the case was dropped .KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Major Thulani Zwane confirmed all three cases but would not say why the charges were dropped.Nzuza said yesterday: " I have never been found guilty of any offence and I have no criminal record. These are just dirty tricks and they did not start now ."Provincial ANC Youth League secretary Thanduxolo Sabela defended Nzuza, saying he had been told that there was a bid to discredit not only Nzuza but the elected leadership.Sabela said: "Those allegations are not true. I heard this from another journalist, but personally I think you should speak to Comrade Mzimela himself."Mzimela is Nzuza's nickname.A delegate from Gauteng said: "This is not what young people need. We need young leaders who can inspire us, not people who are no strangers to crime."I voted for him, but guilty or not we don't need people who aren't exemplary," she said.A member of the league in Nelspruit said that even though he had known little about Nzuza before the conference he was swayed by the praising of Nzuza by his supporters in KwaZulu-Natal.He said: "He's no longer facing those [criminal] cases but I'm disappointed. Had I learned about this before the conference we would have raised it. Is it of any use now?"As secretary-general of ANCYL, Nzuza will work full-time at Luthuli House, the ANC national head office, in Johannesburg, and be a member of the ANC's national executive council...

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