Collen Maine seeks one last hurrah as ANC Youth League boss

09 June 2019 - 00:00 By ZINGISA MVUMVU
Outgoing ANC Youth League president Collen Maine is trying to stave off the dissolution of his NEC so he can hold one last report-back session.
Outgoing ANC Youth League president Collen Maine is trying to stave off the dissolution of his NEC so he can hold one last report-back session.
Image: Tsheko Kabasia

Outgoing ANC Youth League president Collen Maine has pleaded with ANC bigwigs not to disband his executive because he wants to deliver his political report at the planned elective conference.

Maine, now an MP, told the Sunday Times this week that he wants an opportunity to report back to youth league members on his executive's achievements and failures and also offer advice to the league's new leaders.

Maine was responding to calls for the ANC national executive committee to dissolve the league's NEC because its term of office expired last year. This week, youth league members demanding dissolution of the league's NEC marched to Luthuli House.

In an interview, Maine blamed the league's paralysis on his predecessor, Julius Malema, now leader of the EFF. The league was liquidated a year ago after it failed to pay legal costs incurred when the then Western Cape premier Helen Zille sued it for defamation over remarks made by Malema and his lieutenants when he was still its leader.

Maine promised that an elective conference would be held not later than September.

"It is not like we want to cling to power. The ANC just paid people who we owed R5m [to] only in March. We were liquidated as a result of the insults hurled by former president Julius Malema to Helen Zille. The matter was never brought to our attention until we were liquidated," Maine said.

We were liquidated as a result of the insults hurled by former president Julius Malema to Helen Zille. The matter was never brought to our attention until we were liquidated
Collen Maine

"We still want to deliver a report to congress [on] what were our achievements, what were our weaknesses and what are the failures, and what do we think the next leadership must do to advance the struggles of young people going forward. So we must be given that opportunity to report to congress."

The ANC called a meeting with the leadership of the league this week, but only secretary-general Njabulo Nzuza showed up.

Maine said he himself had intended to go to the meeting but missed his flight.

It remains to be seen how the youth league will be able to convene a conference considering it has not held a single NEC meeting this year. Maine said the NEC had not had a chance to meet because of the demands of the election campaign.

Those pushing for the league to be disbanded, popularly known as "the disbandists", have received support from former league president Fikile Mbalula. This week Mbalula tweeted: "I agree and you have my support."

Maine said although the marchers had raised genuine issues, he took exception to the personal insults directed at him and other current leaders.


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