The league is faced with two important congresses – a provincial and a national one – and jostling for positions has begun.
The factional fights of the ANCYL ahead of two important congresses are the reason ANC deputy president DD Mabuza snubbed the ANCYL’s 74th birthday celebration, this paper has learnt.
Some branches across the Mpumalanga province have started convening BGMs to nominate favoured candidates ahead of a provincial elective conference, a conference important going to the national one where the claws are out between contestants NEC member Ndumiso Mokako and national treasurer Reggie Nkabinde.
Senior ANC sources in the Mpumalanga province said Mabuza was made aware in the 11th hour that the 74th birthday celebration at the Sydney Choma community hall in Middelburg was going to be more of a launch of Nkabinde’s campaign than a birthday celebration.
“He was briefed on Saturday not to come because that was actually gonna be the launch of Reggie’s campaign. Mabuza doesn’t really want to publicly associate with a slate in the ANCYL though Pholoso Mbatsane is his favoured candidate for the position of national secretary,” the source said.
“But Mabuza doesn’t want to do that overtly, so that is why you saw [deputy president Desmond] Moela and [ANC provincial spokeswoman] Sasekani Manzini. Those are one of people who do Mabuza’s work on the ground,” said the source.
Reason national leader Collen ‘Oros’ Maine also snubbed the event was because Maine wants Mokako, who also snubbed the event, to be the President and “wouldn’t want to be overridden by the Nkangala ANCYL that actually organised the event,” the source said.
The event was then addressed by outgoing deputy president Desmond Moela, who called for unity in the league and said if the leaguers didn’t unite now they would just have to “forget” about liberating the youth of this country.
Moela wants Nkabinde to be the President on a slate that wants provincial secretary Pholoso Mbatsane as the secretary general.
The Nkabinde camp also wants Nkangala secretary Thabang Mathebula to be Mpumalanga ANCYL chairman when a provincial congress is held soon.
But this is setting them against the Mokako camp which wants Gert Sibande’s Trevor Nkosi to become the chair. Nkosi is current provincial deputy chair.
The Mokako camp is negotiating with KZN secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo for one of them to be President and the other to be secretary general.
The source say the reason Mokako, Maine and Mabuza didn’t come “is the issue of association”.
The Mokako campaign is currently experiencing hardships after Sabelo was discovered to be having secret meetings with former President Jacob Zuma allegedly plotting to oust current leader Cyril Ramaphosa.
The Sunday event was chaired by Nkangala regional leader Bobo Mtshweni and saw Nkabinde flanked by Mathebula, Moela, Mbatsane, provincial leader Tim Mashele, Manzini, Nkangala ANC chair Speedy Mashilo and secretary Leah Khoza.
“Collen, there was no way he was gonna come. It’s the issue of association my brother like I’m telling you,” said the source.
Moela and Manzini are accused by a disgruntled faction aligned to Mokako in the Bohlabela region of having delivered a league regional leadership through unfairness and alleged use of “bogus delegates”.
Asked why he did not attend Sunday’s celebration, Mokako said he could not make it to the event because he “did not have money”.
“Remember you need petrol to get to a place,” he said while laughing over the phone.
Provincial acting chairman Mandla Ndlovu, who also snubbed the event, said the reason he did not come despite being put on the program was because he had “flu”.
“I’m sick you won’t believe. I have flu,” he said over the phone.
“I don’t know that I was on the program,” said Ndlovu.
Manzini asked that all queries be directed to the ANCYL as that was an ANCYL event.
Provincial spokesman Bheki Sithole said the event was not a launch of Nkabinde’s campaign but a birthday celebration but can’t say those who say so are lying.
“Look it’s no secret that the ANCYL is due for a congress and during such time it happens that comrades lobby each other, so I won’t say whether those who say that was a campaign are lying or not but what I know is that it was a celebration,” Sithole said.
“All I know is that it was a 74th birthday celebration of the ANCYL and was organised nationally,” he said.
Nkabinde himself denied the stage was set for him to launch his campaign.
“You can’t say a celebration of the ANCYL is a launch of a campaign. That is so incorrect,” he said.
He added that an apology was sent by Mabuza to national secretary Njabulo Nzuza because Mabuza “had an emergency”.
National spokesman Mlondolozi Mkhize didn’t answer repeated calls on Sunday night and Monday morning.
(edited by ZK)
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