Court order leaves ANC Youth League rescue bid in limbo

The league lost its legal status as a result of the ruling by acting judge Tony Mundell in October last year. (Madelene Cronje)

The league lost its legal status as a result of the ruling by acting judge Tony Mundell in October last year. (Madelene Cronje)

The troubled ANC Youth League is set to return to the Johannesburg high court on Monday after the organisation was declared provisionally insolvent over millions owed by its previous leadership under Julius Malema.

The league lost its legal status as a result of the ruling by acting judge Tony Mundell in October last year, essentially tying the hands of its temporary leadership and putting the body’s operations in the hands of the master of the court.

In his judgment, Mundell said interested parties who could show why the order should not be made final had until January 27 to do so.

This is another blow for the body, which has struggled since Malema was ousted in 2012 and its national executive committee (NEC) dissolved in March 2013. The provincial executive committees were subsequently found to be in shambles and disbanded by a controversial national task team appointed by the ANC.

The team convenor, Mzwandile Masina, declined to comment on the legal proceedings and said only: “We are going inside to save the youth league; that is what we have committed to.”

The task team has had its work cut out for it as it lacks political clout and has had to deal with widespread rot in the organisation, which has rendered it dysfunctional.

The liquidation is a case in point: it is the result of an application by events company Z2 Presentations for the youth league to be sequestered for an outstanding bill of nearly R15?million for a national conference it held in Bloemfontein in 2008, at which Malema was elected.

The sheriff reportedly twice tried to seize league assets, but couldn’t find any.

A former youth league NEC member previously told the Mail & Guardian that the league was already in a state of paralysis when the Malema leadership team inherited it in 2008. “It was that culture of vote rigging, buying votes and gatekeeping. We continued with that culture,” he said.

This has left the largely green members of the task team to sort out a mess not of their own making.

“It’s not for me to be angry,” said Masina, shrugging off the fact that they were taking the blame for the previous generation’s faults. “What we know is we have taken responsibility to save the organisation.”

Malema did not respond to a request for comment.

Verashni Pillay

Verashni Pillay

Verashni Pillay is the editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian. She grew up in Laudium, Pretoria, learned her trade at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, spent a spell in Cape Town as an online journalist, and now loves living in Jozi. Her interests are broad but include a focus on politics and multi-platform storytelling. Read more from Verashni Pillay


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