ANCYL insists current leaders will be retained

The ANC Youth League continues to hold out for some kind of “political solution” for its leaders who have been found guilty by a party disciplinary committee of various offences, even as the committee sat to finalise their sentences.

The league held a press conference on Thursday at which its president, Julius Malema, secretary general Sindiso Magaqa and spokesman Floyd Shivambu were conspicuous by their absence. They were attending the disciplinary hearing that is now dealing with arguments in mitigation of their sentences.

Malema and his cohorts stand accused of bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing divisions within the ranks of the party.

As the Mail & Guardian reported last week, the youth league said it would not entertain discussion about who would replace Malema should he be expelled, insisting it would retain his leadership until the next conference in June 2014.

“No leader of the ANC Youth League which has been mandated by the national congress will resign their position until the next congress,” the league said in a statement read by deputy president Ronald Lamola. “There is no constitutional basis for the ANC Youth League that allows for removal of leadership of the organisation through a process that does not include the structures and members of the ANC Youth League,” the statement read.

Earlier, there was speculation that Malema would be replaced by his deputy, Lamola, or the league’s treasurer general, Pule Mabe.

ANCYL insists disciplinary process was politically motivated
The youth league reiterated its views, which were rejected by the disciplinary committee, that the entire process was politically motivated and was meant to settle scores. In particular, it said, the process was meant to suppress the league’s strong views on nationalisation and the expropriation of land.

It also introduced a new argument, saying the report of its national conference had been sent to ANC headquarters, whence there had been no feedback, creating the impression that the ANC agreed with the congress resolutions. The league argued that all its actions and pronouncements since, for which its leaders had been charged, were based on that political report.

“We believe that the ANC carries an obligation to educate and guide the ANC Youth League on all critical policy issues and not persecute the leadership.”

Lamola said that, in the light of these factors, the ANC should “engage” with the league in a political discussion that would result in the charges being withdrawn.

Meanwhile, the league has vowed to challenge the outcome of research into nationalisation that has ruled out the concept as ANC policy.

Charles Molele

Charles Molele

Charles Molele is a senior politics reporter at the Mail & Guardian. Charles joined the paper in 2011. He has covered general news, court and politics for the past 19 years, and also worked as a senior reporter for the Saturday Star, Sunday World, ThisDay, Sunday Times and is former politics editor of the New Age. Charles's other career highlights include covering Kenya's violent general elections (2007/08), Zimbabwe’s sham general elections (2008), Mozambique's food riots (2010) and the historic re-election of US President Barack Obama (2012). Read more from Charles Molele

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