National

New ANCYL leadership still months away

Nickolaus Bauer

It will take months to fill vacant positions in the ANC Youth League executive, in spite of a push by the ANC to bring its youth wing into line.

Former ANC Youth League President Julius Malema. (Simanga Mchunu, M&G)

"You can't just appoint people to senior structures willy-nilly, we need to follow formal processes that take some time," Ronald Lamola, youth league deputy president told the Mail & Guardian on Monday.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe on Sunday confirmed that the party's National Executive Committee (NEC) will meet on Friday to discuss the future of the league.

The M&G understands the newly elected NEC will move to force the league to "fall into line" and elect a new president, after the ANC's Mangaung elective conference decided the relevance of the league should be discussed as a matter of urgency.

But, electing a new president for the youth body will not be as simple as finding a replacement for Malema.

"Any new leadership can only be elected at a National General Council [NGC], and we need to formalise our structures before even considering the hosting of such an event," Lamola said.

Lamola has been acting president of the youth league since Malema's demise in April last year.

Youth league (in)stability
The league has refused to fill key leadership positions and is without a functioning NEC after its president Julius Malema, former spokesperson Floyd Shivambu and secretary general Sindiso Magaqa's were ousted.

An NGC is called to scrutinise, determine and review policies of the youth league as well as fill vacancies that have arisen within the league, as per its constitution.

Similar to a national elective conference, an NGC is only deemed valid if representatives from national, provincial and branch level structures of the league are present.

This may prove to be difficult as the league's organisational structure is currently unstable.

For example, the league's provincial executive in Kwazulu-Natal is currently not recognised by the body's national office bearers and as such it is unclear if they would be allowed to attend the NGC.

"It is premature to talk about leadership at this stage. We will focus on getting our structures right before we set a date for the NGC," Lamola added.

"Obviously you can't have people acting in positions for too long, but we cannot be rushed in this process."

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