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Mkhize in, Ramaphosa out as ANC ‘young lions’ choose preferred top six

Mkhize in, Ramaphosa out as ANC ‘young lions’ choose preferred top six
Former health minister Zweli Mkhize. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart

According to those that attended the ANC Youth League National Task Team special meeting, it was initially thought that Ramaphosa would get an automatic endorsement, but when the meeting began the name of Mkhize was raised as another candidate they should consider.

ANC presidential hopeful Dr Zweli Mkhize received a boost in his campaign to unseat the party’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, after the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) National Task Team threw its weight behind him at its special meeting on Sunday. 

According to those that attended the meeting, it was initially thought that Ramaphosa would get an automatic endorsement from the young lions, but when the meeting began the name of Mkhize was raised as another candidate they should consider.  

Mkhize is a former premier of KwaZulu-Natal, a former ANC treasurer-general and a former minister of health.

He resigned as minister of health in August 2021, just hours before Ramaphosa was set to announce a Cabinet reshuffle.

He was implicated in a number of corruption scandals including allegedly receiving kickbacks from investment deals involving the state-owned Public Investment Corporation. 

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The endorsement of Mkhize came as a shock as the youth league task team is led by staunch Ramaphosa supporters, including its convener, Nonceba Mhlauli.

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The task team will have 40 delegates at the party’s 55th National Conference, to be held at Nasrec in Johannesburg next month.

Another shock came through the snubbing of the minister of justice and correctional services, Ronald Lamola, for the deputy president position. Lamola is a former deputy president of the ANCYL and the task team opted for Paul Mashatile, who is the party’s treasurer-general.

Given his age and credentials, it was expected that he would receive support from the structure.

Mashatile is also the party’s acting secretary-general following the suspension of Ace Magashule in May 2021 because of the party’s step-aside rule. The rule states that any member of the ANC serving in party structures must step aside following an indictment on criminal charges.

Stanley Mathabatha received support for the national chair position, Fikile Mbalula for secretary-general and Nomvula Mokonyane for deputy secretary.

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Former president of the ANCYL Andile Lungisa will also feel hard done by, as he was snubbed for the treasurer-general position, with ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe getting the nod.   

In a statement, the task team said it had identified leaders who would champion the cause of young people and ensure the rebuilding and transformation of the economy.

“We have agreed, as the NTT [National Task Team], that young lions must be an integral part of all processes that will ensure that this organisation emerges from this gathering with a clear implementation plan of its progressive policies and resolutions that will be adopted.”

It announced that it would convene a meeting to discuss policy matters and constitutional amendments as a mandate that would be given to the 40 delegates.

“Through our robust engagement over the weekend, and yesterday [Sunday], in particular, we agreed that we must elect leaders that will ensure that young people’s potential is harnessed in order to guarantee the acceleration of socioeconomic development throughout the corners of this country,” reads the statement.  

“We need leadership that will end load shedding, which has crippled our economy, ensure access to land and transform the financial sector for the benefit of young and indigenous people.”  

The task team has 35 members who were appointed last year with the aim of reviving the ANC Youth League, which was disbanded in 2018 by its mother body after it failed to elect new leadership.


Thembela Sifile, a Ramaphosa supporter from the Boland Region in the Western Cape, said the region would not accept those endorsed by the task team.

“The NTT was appointed to take the Youth League to the conference; this is an obvious dereliction of duty. They haven’t done their task [and] now they promulgate leaders at national [level].

“As young people, we distance ourselves from that illegitimate/unconstitutional stokvel gathering the NTT held yesterday.” DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Paul Savage says:

    I mean, give us a break! Mkhize, sloshing around in the mire of Digital Vibes; Mbalula, probably the most incompetent of all the clowns in the cabinet; and Mokonyane, the recipient of R50,000 per month per kind favour of Bosasa, and ran a complete criminal network that pretended to be the Dept of Water Affairs. Surely your “Task Team” could have come up with some names that didn’t carry around the stench of corruption and incompetence with them?

    • Gerhard Vermaak says:

      You forget that the more corrupt the incumbents are and the more compromised they are, is more reason to allow the new feeding fest as they are then unable to stop it due to their own skeletons in the closet, so this is the reason they support compromised individuals.
      The looting needs to continue don’t you understand.

  • Hermann Funk says:

    Looking whom they support, for me they are young sheep and not young lions.

  • Rory Macnamara says:

    The ANCYL are not even legitimate, ‘leaders’ are not even elected and their choice reflects their own incompetence in knowing good from evil!

  • Viviana Smith says:

    Judging by the nominations not so much a youth league as a guild of thieves and/or prospective thieves.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    Don’t like what you see every single day in this newspaper? Vote for change.

  • Hiram C Potts says:

    Why is anyone surprised? They feel that it’s now their turn to feed at the trough.
    Mkhize has in all probability given undertakings to these young clowns that he’ll “champion their cause”…..

  • Ramabifi Kenneth Thobejane says:

    Shouldn’t this Task Team be concerned with more urgent problems that the youth is facing? Shouldn’t they be working towards conference than been seduced by leaders who want positions at all costs?
    How can the likes of Dr Mkhize want to lead the ANC? What does the eye of the needle say? There have always been whispers in corridors regarding Mkhize’s corrupt practices.
    Voting him in would be a kick in the face of all healthcare workers, let alone the poor and indeed, the voters.

  • A.K.A. Fred says:

    With ANCYL members like these clowns, the real youth in South Africa will continue to be marginalised. Jungle law applies and the biggest mouths and bravados (generally inversely proportional to IQ) are securing their position at the trough. The real hardworking youth need to distance themselves from this unelected bunch of freeloaders. Wake up real youth…….

  • Rob vZ says:

    Same ANCYL that endorsed the annexation of Ukraine. A deeply compromised organization that (hopefully) doesn’t represent the youth of this country.

  • Colleen Dardagan says:

    I think the young lions have gone rogue!

  • Change is Good says:

    Why are we giving the ANCYL so much oxygen in the press as if Zweli Mkhize is a given.
    We know they have backed him because it will give them a chance to eat at the trough.
    Lets vote this useless ANC organisation out of our lives. This is a group of young and old people that are incapable of behaving like a governing party for the citizens of this country.

  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    As one reads the comments, the ignorance about the general thinking in the public is very clear because the ANCYL represents a particular section of society that has this desensitization to corruption, and it is not a small section. You have people that believe that corruption in the state is a victimless crime. This is very rife in the areas where you had the former Bantustans or homelands. You can see this with the pattern of electoral loss of the ANC that is largely in Gauteng, Durban and Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. I have had serious arguments with those who say that Zuma should be allowed like the late PW Botha. You try your best to educate people. The lack of education on democracy, elections and common-sense economics is a major stumbling block. The SABC has been trying following the departure of thugs like Hlaudi. But it has been stopped with the harassment and firing of Phathiswa Magopheni after the informative Service Delivery Gauge was blamed by Mbalula for the electoral misfortunes of the ANC.
    It is for this reason; one argues that we need to prosecute in courts those who are said to have looted public resources because it reinforces the view that political motivation is behind the accusations. Neither does the Phala Phal saga helps.
    Throwing insults does not help rather than carrying out education that corruption has victim, and they are the poor. COSATU support for ANC adds to the confusion that corruption has no victims.

  • Robert K says:

    Young hyenas, you mean.

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