Revival faction rejects 'seniorship' being brought in to disband ANCYL

30 July 2019 - 16:15 By Qaanitah Hunter
The ANC leadership has been criticised for returning the eldership of former youth league president Collen Maine 'to preside over a process that defeated him when he still had a constitutional mandate'.
The ANC leadership has been criticised for returning the eldership of former youth league president Collen Maine 'to preside over a process that defeated him when he still had a constitutional mandate'.
Image: SIMPHIWE NKWALI

An ANC Youth League faction has blasted its parent body for appointing older ANC leaders to lead the league.

The "Revive ANCYL Movement" - which has called for the disbanding of their “old” leaders - has rejected a move by the ANC’s national executive committee to appoint older members of the ruling party to lead the ANCYL. 

Thabo Mabotja, from the "disbandists" faction, said in a statement on Tuesday that they were disappointed with the ANC’s decision.

"The ANC NEC has surprisingly escalated the legitimacy crisis of the ANCYL by disbanding the ‘eldership” and replacing it with a ‘seniorship',” he said.

The ANC’s NEC has disbanded the executive of the Youth League and appointed ANC MP Tandi Mahambehlala as convener of a national task team (NTT) to reboot the league and convene a conference to elect new leaders.

She will replace former ANCYL president Collen Maine, who is still part of the tentative leadership.

The new head of the presidency in the ANC, Sibongile Besani, is said to be the co-ordinator of the NTT, replacing secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza.

"In a twist of political reasoning, the ANC NEC collectively decides to bring back the same people who have already failed to assist the ANCYL. They failed to assist back then because, as the ‘seniorship’ that they are, they could not commit themselves 100% to the work of the ANCYL because they have other senior political commitments.

"Nothing will be different now and, other things considered, they are likely to be worse since some of them are serving as members of the national executive and cabinet in government," said Mabotja.


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He also questioned why the leaders who failed to lead the league were included in the tentative leadership.

"Worse off, the ANC leadership returns the eldership of former president Collen Maine and former secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza to preside over a process that spectacularly defeated them when they were still carrying a constitutional mandate. This approach to the task team is politically unwise and leaves us with the impression that the ANC leadership does not take the Congress Youth League seriously," he said.

The ANC’s NEC decided that former youth league leaders Malusi Gigaba, Zizi Kodwa and Ronald Lamola must also be part of the NTT. Other names tipped to be part of this structure are ANC MP Bongani Bongo and minister Senzo Mchunu.

Mabotja bemoaned how non-ANCYL members could lead the league.

"The team of senior members of the ANC that has been assembled to resolve organisational and political problems of the ANCYL is existentially incapable of delivering a congress outcome that will help the Congress Youth League to reverse the legitimacy crisis sketched about. They are old, are not members of the ANCYL and carry the inherent accusation of trying to sponsor ANC factional interests to the ANCYL," he said.

On Tuesday, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule announced that the league would host its conference in February next year.


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