His supporters and those of regional leader Muzi Chirwa are preparing for an ultimate showdown.
Contestant for the Gert Sibande ANC position of regional secretary, Khulani Nhlabathi, has expressed confidence towards an upcoming elective RGC, saying he was ready to take up the powerful position.
Nhlabathi said his lobby camp has done enough work on the ground to ensure victory is certain at a planned elective RGC to be held soon.
He is backed by Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane and Ermelo strongman Sibusiso ‘The Great’ Sgudla – and he says his fights are about the generations that come from ANCYL to be allowed to lead the ANC, as it has always been the case since the formation of the ANCYL in the 1940s.
Nhlabathi said part of the reasons the ANCYL was formed was to have a smooth succession plan in the ANC – where the ANCYL would serve as its “preparatory school” for future leaders.
He believes such generations as the one that Tsipane led with should not be left out.
He said historically young people have been coming to the ANC, “giving new life” to it and taking some of the boldest decisions, such as the adoption of the Program of Action at the ANC’s 38th conference in Bloemfontein, December 1949.
The conference elected ANCYL treasurer Walter Sisulu as ANC secretary-general and a number of other ANCYL leaders, such as Oliver Tambo, to its national executive committee. It then implemented the Program of Action, which led to the Defiance Campaign – the ANC’s first largest scale of civil unrests against the Apartheid government.
Nhlabathi is a former regional chairman of the Gert Sibande ANCYL. He told scores while he addressed recently that today’s problems demand people who are “relevant to the current situation” and who can help society achieve the socio-economic battles.
He said Oliver Tambo, who also came from the ANCYL, in 1986 realised the strength of young people as ANC President when he called on all young South Africans to “make the country ungovernable” after the June 1976 Soweto Uprising that changed the face of the struggle against Afrikaner racist rule.
Gert Sibande’s vacant post was left by Audrey Maleka when she resigned after being elected to Parliament’s council of provinces in May 2019 general elections.
The battles in the region unfolds between The Great Sgudla, who is a PEC member, and regional leader Muzi Chirwa – the two bulls in the same kraal, who both fight for control of the region.
Chirwa supporters want him to emerge as provincial secretary on acting chairman Mandla Ndlovu’s slate while comrades aligned to The Great want Nhlabathi to contest Chirwa’s favoured candidate Lindi Masina for post of regional secretary, Mkhondo mayor Vusi Motha to replace Chirwa as regional chair and Tsipane to contest Ndlovu for the position of provincial chair while Vusi Shongwe becomes her deputy.
Shongwe could face-off Nkangala leader Speedy Mashilo who contest the deputy chairperson seat on Ndlovu’s slate and Chirwa could face PEC member Pat Ngomane who contest to become provincial secretary on Tsipane’s slate.
(edited by MLM)
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