Sindiso Magaqa, the deputy chairperson of the ANC Youth League in KwaZulu-Natal, is a shoo-in for a top spot in the league’s national leadership, after winning support from eight of the nine provinces for the post of general secretary.
‘He has the support of all provinces except the Eastern Cape,” KwaZulu-Natal secretary Bheki Mtolo said.
The ANCYL general secretary position will became vacant when the league convenes its elective conference in Johannesburg on June 16.
Magaqa and Eastern Cape ANCYL chairperson Ayanda Matiti are vying to replace outgoing incumbent Vuyiswa Tulelo.
Youth league provincial secretaries in Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal confirmed to Sapa on Friday they backed Magaqa.
Free State, North West and the Western Cape were not immediately available for comment.
ANCYL secretary in the Eastern Cape Mzonke Ndabeni, said his province did not support Magaqa.
‘We have made it clear that we are agreeing with KwaZulu-Natal on the presidency position but not on the secretary position. Our candidate is Matiti,” he said.
Both provinces agreed that Julius Malema should retain his presidency position, he said.
Ndabeni also criticised Mtolo for ‘behaving like the general secretary of the ANCYL”.
‘He is not allowed to speak on behalf of other provinces. Mtolo is acting as if he is the general secretary,” he said.
Ndabeni said support for Matiti was growing every day, adding that his camp would surprise many people during the conference.
‘Even in KwaZulu-Natal there are people who support Matiti. You will remember that the branches there were up against them. The reason why we don’t hear people supporting Matiti is because they have a way of surprising [the congress with their votes],” he said.
Ndabeni said people would follow their hearts during the voting process which was done through secret balloting.
The number of provinces that supported candidates did not automatically mean that they would win.
‘You will remember what happened when Malema was chosen. His opponent was supported by eight provinces before the conference, but Malema won,” he said.
The Eastern Cape league did not want Magaqa to take the position because he was “not dynamic enough”.
‘The political terrain in the ANC is very tough at the moment and it requires a person who has a strong character. We need someone strong like Malema,” he said.
History of service
Magaqa was born in Umzimkhulu when it was still part of the Eastern Cape.
He has occupied several positions in, among others, the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) and the youth league.
He was a member of the league’s Alfred Nzo Regional executive committee before becoming chairman of the Harry Gwala Region for four terms.
He studied law at the University of South Africa.
Magaqa refused to comment on Friday. — Sapa