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ANCYL: Media caused divisions (not that there are any), and also, screw the courts

ANCYL: Media caused divisions (not that there are any), and also, screw the courts

The ANC Youth League is going ahead with its provincial elective conferences, starting with the Eastern Cape on Friday. Isn't that directly in conflict with issues before the courts right now? Nope. The courts don't understand how the League works, so there is no point in heeding them.

The national executive committee of the ANC Youth League says it will be overseeing a provincial conference of its Eastern Cape branch, starting this Friday, even as it is still pursuing an appeal against an injunction that effectively prevents it from doing so. That injunction doesn’t hold water, the League argues, because the courts think it is a federal structure, rather than a top-down organisation where the national leadership can pretty much rule by decree.

“That’s not just a fallacy, it’s sheer drunkenness,” says secretary general Vuyiswa Tulelo. “The court order that was issued in the Eastern Cape was in relation to the [national working committee]… now you have got [the national executive committee], which is the highest decision-making body…”

Insults to the intelligence of the judiciary aside, the NEC seems to be challenging the (now disbanded, at least so it says) provincial leaders to get another interdict against the congress on Friday. And it is difficult to imagine that such an injunction would not be granted, which makes the gung-ho approach all the more strange.

Watch: ANCYL on the legality of its planned Eastern Cape elective conference

So are all these problems, particularly the rebellions in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo, an indication that Julius Malema is a divisive figure? Don’t be silly. In North West, says ANCYL treasurer general Pule Mabe, rumours of division are actually being spread by members of other political parties rather than the league, though he won’t name those parties. In other areas, it is clear that those speaking to the media about divisions aren’t disciplined members of the league, because “disciplined members of the ANC Youth League don’t speak to the media”. Except those that do, and are then, it seems, tempted by the media to turn to the courts. Though if they do that they are automatically no longer members of the league, because anybody who takes the organisation to court is, effectively, expelling themselves.

Case in point: Stella Ndabendi, a member of the national working committee who didn’t go to court herself, but dared provide a sworn affidavit in support of the action by Lehlogonolo Masoga, the expelled leader in Limpopo. She will now feel the full might of the league’s disciplinary processes, the NEC said, with the clear intention to show her the door.

And where does ANCYL president Julius Malema stand on all this? We don’t know. He wasn’t present at the press conference on Wednesday, apparently being tied up with more important meetings. Which, if taken at face value, must make those meetings pretty important; Malema is not in the habit of missing an opportunity to hold court before the media.

By Phillip de Wet

Photo: ANCYL treasurer general Pule Mabe and secretary general Vuyiswa Tulelo. (The Daily Maverick)

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