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ANC appoints Baleka Mbete to lead women's league task team, excludes Bathabile Dlamini

30 June 2022 - 12:10
Baleka Mbete is the convener of the new ANCWL task team. File photo.
Baleka Mbete is the convener of the new ANCWL task team. File photo.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

It’s out with the old and in with the not-so-new in the ANC Women’s League.

The ANC has appointed former National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete to lead a national task team to run the affairs of the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) after the disbandment of the league’s leadership structure in April.

Mbete served as the ANC’s national chairperson for 10 years between December 2007 and December 2017 and acted as the country’s deputy president for eight months after Thabo Mbeki’s recall.

Conspicuous by her absence is Bathabile Dlamini, the league’s president from August 2015 until its disbandment. She was found guilty of perjury and sentenced to four years in prison, half of which was suspended, with the option of a R200,000 fine in April for lying under oath while she was minister of social development.

Dlamini harbours ambitions to lead the ANCWL again, according to party sources.

ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile previously told TimesLIVE the party’s national executive committee (NEC) decided that members with ambitions of leading the league may not be in charge of the task team.

“We said at the NEC we would like to have a convener and co-ordinator who have no vested interest in becoming leaders of the women’s league so that they are able to pull this thing together. The NEC did not say those who are leaders now should not be included in the team, but they have asked the officials to look at it,” Mashatile said in April.

While Dlamini has been left out of the team, the disbanded ANCWL’s secretary-general Meokgo Matuba is in as an additional member.

In a memo dated June 29, Mashatile announced that the NEC appointed Mbete as the convener of the ANCWL’s national task team.

Former youth activist and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s special adviser on international relations Maropene Ramokgopa is the co-ordinator, with Maqueen Letshoha-Mathale as fundraiser.

Mashatile said the task team was mandated to ensure that the league’s structures were in good standing, conferences were held in branches, regions and provinces to ensure that the ANCWL national conference was convened within a year and processes were accurate so the standing of the conference could not be contested.

The NEC had mandated the ANC’s national officials and the national working committee to process the composition and terms of reference of the ANCWL national task team and to report to a special NEC meeting.

The special NEC met last Thursday and appointed the task team, he said.

The team is a mix of young and old ANC members and includes senior members Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Sue van der Merwe, Dipuo Peters, Dina Pule, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Pinky Kekana, Pamela Tshwete and Tina Joemat-Pettersson, among others.

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