JOHANNESBURG – Marches by disgruntled ANC Youth League (ANCYL) members to demand the disbandment of the national executive committee (NEC) and provincial structures continue this week as calls for the long overdue congress to elect new leadership gains momentum.
The group from across provinces, calling themselves ‘Revive ANCYL Movement’, has vowed to have the league structures dissolved and new task teams appointed leading up to a national elective conference.
Thabo Mabotja, one of the group’s leaders from Limpopo, said ANCYL members do not recognise the leadership led by president Collen Maine.
"We have support for the disbandment in provinces and are engaging the ANC on this issue, not the ANCYL. Part of our complaint against the ANCYL is that the leaders do not have a constitutional mandate anymore, theirs expired in September 2018. We will not engage the ANCYL because by doing so, we would be legitimising them. They are illegitimate," said Mabotja.
Maine and team were elected in 2015. At least two of the leaders, Maine and secretary general Njabulo Nzuza were appointed members of Parliament after the May 8 elections.
has been accused of "burying" the weakened ANCYL by concentrating on African National Congress (ANC) factional battles instead of fighting for the youth, majority of whom are unemployed and unable to access higher education.
In an interview with the weekly Sunday Times, Maine said he wanted to deliver a political report at the conference to elect new ANCYL leaders, and is therefore against the dissolving of the ANCYL NEC.
On Friday, ANCYL members marched in Limpopo and handed over a memorandum at the provincial ANC’s Frans Mohlala House. The Gauteng leg of the march is scheduled for Wednesday at the provincial offices in Johannesburg.
On Tuesday last week, another group took to Luthuli House armed with a memorandum of demand to ANC big wigs. In the Eastern Cape, a march took place at a venue in East London where the ANC provincial executive committee meeting was being held on Monday.
Secretary general Lulama Ngcukayitobi received the memorandum, telling the league members that the party has been concerned about "the manner in which ANCYL conducted itself."
"The provincial executive committee will also send the petition to the national executive committee of the ANC… but the decision on the matter rests upon its [ANC NEC] shoulders. We receive the petition positively…it is crystal clear that the ANCYL has failed our young people."
Speaking to PowerFM last week, Eastern Cape youth league member Zuko Godlimpi said with 35 as the cut-off age in the league, Maine, aged 38, along with other leaders were elders who should not be allowed to converge an ANCYL elective conference.
"Collen is an elder, and not a young person. If Collen convenes a youth league congress, it would be an elder organising a congress for young people. Our argument is that the constitution of the ANCYL is the one that sets the parameters of legitimacy. The reason we are calling for disbandment is because we want to reinforce the constitution and its legitimacy, the sitting ANCYL NEC doesn’t have that legitimacy."
ANCYL spokesman Mlondi Mkhize said on Monday that the matter is now subject to internal processes in the ANC as disgruntled members would not meet with the ANCYL leadership.