ANC Youth League: From the frying pan into the fire

The ANC Youth League sans Julius Malema seems to still be paying the price for its incarnation under the leadership of Malema, who now leads the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Its mother body, the ANC, heaved a big sigh of relief when the liquidation crisis facing its beleaguered youth league was resolved in March, thanks to a timely cash injection. The nearly R15-million the league owed a Bloemfontein events company for its 2008 conference where Malema was elected as president was cleared, thanks to an out-of-court settlement. A second applicant, owed money for accommodation at the same conference, also settled with the league.

"We are not aware of any other debt at this point … We are not expecting any further legal challenges," youth league national convenor Mzwandile Masina said at the time.

But now another creditor has been encouraged by that happy resolution: the Gallagher Convention Centre has come knocking for the R4.8-million it is owed from the league's June 2011 conference where Malema was re-elected, and the league is facing possible insolvency yet again, according to an application made to the Johannesburg high court on Thursday. With interest that figure is likely to be closer to R7-million, sources say.

In other election-related news, there was plenty to fill the gap left by the recessed Oscar Pistorius trial.

No school, thanks to Zuma's visit
Teachers should be in school on time, President Jacob Zuma has said repeatedly in speeches. Except when he's in town. Zuma's rally at the Driefontein sports ground in Mpumalanga on Wednesday afternoon had teachers at nearby Schoemansdal Primary School telling pupils not to bother coming to school, according to the DA spokesperson for education in the province, James Masango.

Four parents at the school confirmed the incident, telling the Mail & Guardian that their children, all aged 10, came home on Tuesday saying they were told by their teachers not to come to school on Wednesday. The principal of the school refused to comment.

The spokesperson for the department of education in the province, Jasper Zwane, said they had received complaints and had requested a report from the school.

Gayton McKenzie delivers a Malema smackdown
The saying goes there is no honour among thieves. One can add: alleged or convicted.

Former convict Gayton McKenzie, who is now a wealthy businessman, has blasted Malema in an open letter. "You are the biggest thief I ever met. You, truly, are the Con-mander in Thief," writes McKenzie, who now has his own political party, the Patriotic Alliance. He made his name with his friend and partner Kenny Kunene, running the ZAR club in Sandton and eating sushi off the bodies of semi-naked women. Malema was a regular at the club that closed down in 2012.

"Julius, you and I are not 'revolutionaries'," McKenzie wrote. "We both know that. We both shop at the same Louis Vuitton and Gucci shops. We both have watches worth hundreds of thousands. We wear more money on our wrists than a miner at Marikana will ever hold in his hands.

"This week you had the audacity to say that you wear Louis Vuitton to 'inspire the poor'. But the poor get nothing out of you wearing flashy clothes.

For people like us to call ourselves revolutionaries is an insult to history's real revolutionaries."

Malema, ever ready with a witty retort, told Talk Radio 702 that McKenzie now knows "it's harder to run a party than a nightclub".

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Verashni Pillay
Verashni Pillay is the former editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian, and inaugural editor-in chief of Huffington Post South Africa. She has worked at various periods as senior reporter covering politics and general news, specialises in mediamanagement and relishes the task of putting together the right team to create compelling and principled journalism across multiple platforms.

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