South Africa


ANC Youth League ructions continue as Mbalula fights brush fires

ANC Youth League ructions continue as Mbalula fights brush fires
ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula at the unveiling of the 55th National Conference Resolutions at Luthuli House on 3 March 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images / Luba Lesolle) | National Youth Task Team convener Xola Nqola. (Photo: Twitter / @Xola_Nqola)

A day before the ANC Youth League’s national elective conference, the party’s young lions have had to deal with strife that includes a tussle between ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula and National Youth Task Team convener Xola Nqola.

The bone of contention between ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula and now-sacked ANC Youth League (ANCYL) National Youth Task Team (NYTT) convener Xola Nqola is over the league’s Eastern Cape congress. 

Following the election of new leadership in the province, Mbalula took issue with the task team, which was presided over by Nqola without his approval.

In the suspension letter sent to Nqola and dated 29 June 2023, Mbalula lists reasons the provincial congress was not supposed to go ahead. He then terminates Nqola’s ANCYL NYTT and removes him from the position of convener. 

Mbalulu states that Nqola misled the membership by communicating the “false message” that he (Mbalula) had sanctioned the continuation of the congress and dubbed Nqola’s behaviour “unacceptable”, adding that it amounted to “gross ill-discipline and defiance”.

“It was clear from the reports presented, and the discussion that followed, that the planned ANCYL Eastern Cape provincial congress had not been duly and properly authorised in that, amongst others: There was no recorded decision by the ANCYL NYTT to amend the ANCYL National Congress roadmap and authorise the holding of the provincial congress; and there was no evidence that the required audits had been done, or that the requisite verification reports had been issued. It was clear that this would render the congress non-compliant, and thus open to challenge.

“Accordingly, we hereby inform you that your membership of the ANCYL NYTT and, by extension, your position as its Convenor are terminated with immediate effect,” the letter reads. 

Others who have also been suspended for allowing the Eastern Cape congress to go ahead include Tlangi Mogale, Khulekani Skosana, Anela Matuntuta and Ntibi Modise.

Mbalula first penned a letter on Wednesday to Eastern Cape provincial secretary and league coordinator Sonto Motaung and Eastern Cape interim provincial structure coordinator Bongani Mani — in which Nqola was copied — to highlight that the congress was non-compliant.

There were also complaints by most structures in the province, including its biggest region, OR Tambo, that the provincial congress was organised and held without their participation.

Eastern Cape’s newly elected chair Luntu Sokutu told the SABC that he is the league’s provincial leader, despite rumblings by Mbalula. 

Daily Maverick understands that the league’s woes may partly stem from senior members trying to influence the outcome of the Eastern Cape and national conferences. 

Leadership race

So far, those on Collen Malatji’s “Economic Freedom or Death” slate are the only contenders to make it on to the ballot for the national elective conference, which is due to run this weekend at Nasrec, starting on Friday, 30 June. 

The slate consists of Malatji as president, Phumzile Mgcina as his deputy, Mntuwoxolo Ngudle as secretary, Tsakani Shiviti as deputy secretary-general and Zwelo Masilela as treasurer. 

This means that at least 20% of branches have nominated each one of them to contest the positions and that any candidates who contest against them will be proposed from the floor.

So far, Malatji has the support of Gauteng and Limpopo, but it is not yet known whether other provinces have made their declarations. 

The league is looking to introduce the position of second deputy secretary-general, as the mother body did at its national conference in December 2022. 

During a briefing at Nasrec on Thursday, the party’s Electoral Committee said 2,972 branches had been verified through the party’s audit processes. 

Meanwhile, there have been murmurs of the conference being converted into a consultative sitting, which would exclude the voting-in of leadership. This would give the ANCYL another opportunity to solve its internal ructions. However, that will be up to delegates. DM


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