Collen Maine 'drops mic', leaves ANC youth league in disarray

09 September 2018 - 00:00
ANCYL leader Collen Maine walked out of the last meeting of the league's national executive committee.
Image: Gallo Images / The Times / Moeletsi Mabe ANCYL leader Collen Maine walked out of the last meeting of the league's national executive committee.

ANC Youth League president Collen Maine is said to have abandoned his speech halfway and stormed out of the venue during his closing address at the last meeting of the league's national executive committee.

At least six NEC members who were at the meeting at Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg said Maine "dropped the mic and ran away" in the middle of what was meant to be his wrap-up of the meeting.

Maine, according to insiders, became irritated when some NEC members challenged "his version" of the NEC decisions.

League leaders who asked not to be named said Maine attempted to "sneak in" decisions which the NEC had not taken so that he could achieve political objectives that favoured his candidate for leadership.

"He spoke for about five minutes summing up the meeting. He just left and everyone was looking around, confused at what was happening. We later realised that the president had run away," a member said.

Maine does not qualify for re-election because he is now older than 35. He is believed to be supporting KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo to succeed him. Sabelo is expected to be opposed by the league's treasurer, Reggie Nkabinde.

Sources said NEC members agreed to take over the organisation in Limpopo and the North West to elect new provincial leaders before the national congress. But Maine apparently said the NEC had resolved to make no interventions in the two provinces.

Numerous attempts to solicit comment from Maine were unsuccessful.

Insiders said they believed Maine's plan was to maintain the status quo to allow him to manipulate processes so that his "anointed successor" would win.

Limpopo deputy secretary Matome Moremi said all five regions of the province were due to elect new leaders.

North West secretary Sipho Dial said the province was preparing to hold regional and provincial conferences before the congress.

The North West and Limpopo leaders said they were following the directive of the leadership as set out in a media statement after the meeting.

However, some members disputed some of the assertions contained in the statement released by spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize, a known Maine ally.

In the statement, Mkhize said the NEC resolved that no structure could be disbanded or stripped of its powers on the eve of the national congress.

He said the NEC supported regional executive committees or regional task teams in Gauteng, Limpopo, the North West and the Eastern Cape in conducting branch general meetings for the upcoming national congress. The committees and task teams would have full rights and obligations to preside over these branch meetings.

The league's secretary-general, Njabulo Nzuza, said the statement had not been sanctioned by his office.

"The statement was an absolute misrepresentation of the outcomes of the NEC. Most of the things that were contained in that statement were not the decisions of the NEC. The spokesperson left the meeting before it concluded. We are currently dealing with the matter internally and will communicate publicly in due course," Nzuza said.

Despite this, he said the congress would go ahead "amid those who are trying to create disorder and chaos in these processes".