They say the province has done nothing to help them.
ANCYL branches from three sub-regions in the Nkangala region of Mpumalanga aligned to contender Ndumiso Mokako took their anger to party headquarters in Gauteng.
They want national office to disband the Nkangala ANCYL regional executive committee for “not doing the work it was elected for”.
They say REC deployees have been snubbing their BGMs for weeks now, allegedly because they favour candidates different from those preferred by the REC.
Those picketing outside Luthuli House are the chairs and secretaries from 20 Thembisile Hani branches as well as 27 from JS Moroka and 5 from Steve Tshwete.
Regional spokesman Banele ‘Masheleni’ Nkosi has said that the reason the REC didn’t come to their BGMs was because these branches never sent an invite to the REC but instead to the PEC.
One of the picketers, William Mokwele, a secretary from ward 18 in JS Moroka, said other branches that the REC attended were not given the printed attendant register by the REC deployee and this was done “deliberately” in order to “deny them” at a later stage.
“When they don’t give you the printed attendant register from the region to sign next to your name as a branch member and only give you a piece of paper to write on with a pen you will fail the audit,” Mokwele said.
He said they would picket the whole day outside Luthuli until national leader Collen Maine or secretary Njabulo Nzuza comes to attend them.
Just after mid-day on Friday, the NEC sent one of their members to go hear the branches but the branches refused to be addressed by this NEC member, saying they will picket till Maine or Nzuza attend to them and they give him “the petition”.
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“We are living in a very divided region. The chairperson [Bobo Mtshweni] has his own REC members on his side and the secretary [Thabang Mathebula] has his own. A very divided region and we never elected them to be divided but to service us as branches,” Mokwele said on the sideline of the picket.
The Mpumalanga province is preparing a provincial congress set for 7 December 2018. The national one is set for 16 December 2018.
The branches are divided between those who want Mokako and those who want Pholoso Mbatsane for the position of national secretary.
The Mokako group wants Trevor Nkosi to be the provincial chair while the Mbatsane group wants Thabang Mathebula as the chair.
This week the Nkangala REC said those those who choose to operate “outside the parameters” of ANCYL will be dealt with.
“They will face very serious consequences,” regional spokesman Masheleni Nkosi said.
They say a disagreement broke out over the branch not reaching a quorum.
An ANCYL branch tussle at Bohlabela’s ward 29 has now been reported to the cops.
The assault case was opened against branch chairman Ntiyiso Makaringe, the child of Bushbuckridge municipal chief whip Million Makaringe.
The matter was opened Friday morning this week at the Mhala police station in Bushbuckridge.
The wrestling began when former league regional acting secretary Nhlamulo Mayindi questioned whether the branch could go ahead with a BGM after it was found that only 32 members in a branch that was supposed to have a minimum of 95 members attending in order to reach a quorum.
Mayindi claimed that when Makaringe opened the meeting he told members that inside the Manukusi High School class there were 102 of them and that the meeting reached a quorum.
Nhlamulo Mayindi’s cellphone was smashed against the floor when he tried to take a video of meeting, accused of not being a “videographer”.
“I raised my hand and I was given the opportunity to speak,” Mayindi said when he spoke to the 013NEWS reporter after opening the case Friday morning.
“Then I said No, but chair let’s do a head count and we discovered that there was only 32 of us and not the 102 the chairperson claimed when he opened the meeting,” he said.
The 32 branch members who attended the meeting.
The regions and branches are divided in the Mpumalanga province ahead of a provincial congress 7 December 2018 between supporters of Trevor Nkosi and Thabang Mathebula for the position of chair.
The Nkosi group wants Ndumiso Mokako as secretary general when a national congress is held on 16 December 2018 while the Mathebula group pushes current provincial secretary Pholoso Mbatsane for the secretary general position.
Nhlamulo Mayindi who was allegedly manhandled by branch leader Ntiyiso Makaringe.
“They then smashed my phone against the floor. When I tried to take it, he took it first and threw it out through the window,” he said.
“I wanted to take the video so that when I make a dispute to the upper structure I would have the evidence of how they are convening BGMs in order to put the people they want by force,” he said.
Mayindi leads a faction that is opposed to Mbatsane becoming the secretary – instead they want Bheki Sithole to be the secretary, Nkosi the chair, Mokako the SG and Thanduxolo Sabelo the President.
“They accused me of not being a videographer. Then broke my phone. I have laid charges of malicious damage to my property and assault,” he said.
The police in Mhala confirmed Friday mid-day that case number 77/11/2018 was opened by an “ANCYL person” and that he told them “a suspect broke his phone and assaulted him”.
Regional secretary Maurice Khoza said Mayindi was supposed to report the matter to the REC and had he done that they were going to know.
“As the REC we don’t promote physical resolutions,” Khoza.
“We condemn it only if there was an incident of that kind. He must report it to the regional secretary’s office so that we attend to it straight away,” he said.
He said it was a lie that ward 29 didn’t follow organisational rules when conducting the BGM and electing delegates.
Mayindi on the other hand says the reason he didn’t report the matter to the REC is because he doesn’t recognise them as they are an “imposed structure” and were elected in a meeting that was conducted “unfairly”, bringing in “bogus delegates” in May 2018 and in deputy president Desmond Moela and ANC spokeswoman Sasekani Manzini’s watch who he says are their “puppets”.
They say the statue is “a distortion” of the image of the struggle icon and a waste of money.
The ANCYL in the Mpumalanga province says the money that was used to erect the “bogus” Nelson Mandela statue outside the legislature in Mbombela was supposed to be used for something else, like building a school.
The league has now given sports and culture MEC Thandi Shongwe an ultimatum to remove the “bogus Mandela” statue or else they will remove it themselves “forcefully”.
It says the statue is a “distortion” of the image of the former and first black South African President and should be taken down immediately.
The statue, costing taxpayers R8.3 million, was unveiled on the Friday mid-day of 28 September 2018 by Premier Refilwe Mtshweni.
It was the work of the Mpumalanga sports arts and culture department.
“The ANCYL call for the immediate removal of that Mandela ‘wanna be’ and we want to put it categorically clear for the department to hear that if this bogus Mandela is not removed by the end of this week we will mobilise patriotic youth to forcefully remove that distortion of the image of our struggle icon,” the statement released by secretary Pholoso Mbatsane on behalf of the provincial executive committee reads.
He said they believe that the R8.3 million used in the procurement of “that ghost whom our government is saying is Mandela” should have been used to build a school.
It was now calling on the department of sports, arts and culture to invest on the establishment of Mpumalanga schools of excellence.
“The province is not doing [good] in producing and nurturing artists,” Mbatsane said, implying that money should have gone to build a school of artists.
The statement is released after the league held its PEC meeting this week.
It has now resolved to support young people to go to Parliament and legislature and was tired of nominating old people “who go to Parliament and sleep”.
“We want to save them the embarrassment of sleeping painfully in Parliamentary benches,” the Mpumalanga league said.
It will also conduct political schooling for its members in the four regional executive committees as “education is the lifeblood of any organisation pursuing a revolutionary struggle and should forever constitute the day to day activities of the ANCYL”.
“It is an objective reality that any revolution that does not reproduce its ideas is bound to fail,” Mbatsane said in the statement.
“All ANCYL structures should standardise political education into their mainstream programmes and constantly ensure that all members have a proper grasp of the politics of the ANC, its revolutionary theory and its ideological perspective alike,” he said.
He said the political induction will deal with the basic understanding of organizational processes and procedure in order to run an effective organization, prepare members and “sharply raise their level of political consciousness”.
They also call on everybody to support 22-year-old Cheryl Zondi who a week ago bravely testified against Pastor Tim Omotoso who she said used to assault her sexually since the age of 14 after she joined the church at the age of 13.
They also called on the Council of Churches to regulate the establishments of church “especially those of foreign nationals”.
“We call on them to act swiftly in addressing the dignity of this situation. We cannot allow such institutions to be compromised by bogus men of clothes both sinister South Africans and foreign nationals,” he said.
Mbatsane added they will have a provincial and national congress as from 07 to 09 December and the national congress will be from 16 to 20 December 2018.
He said BGMs should sit until 15 November 2018, then afterwards they will allow disputes from 16 to 24 November 2018.
He is yet to be charged and the league says they won’t say what charge he will face until a disciplinary committee has done its work.
Nkangala ANCYL secretary Thabang Mathebula has spoken up about his suspension, saying he was still “shocked” as to what he did.
News of the soft-spoken regional youth leader were brought to light by provincial secretary Pholoso Mbatsane this week, confirming they have decided to send Mathebula home pending a disciplinary hearing.
Mbatsane didn’t say why they have decided to suspend the regional secretary but said the suspension comes after they “noted with deep regret” his “recent conduct”.
“We have deliberated on the matter and decided to suspend Comrade Thabang Mathebula pending his disciplinary hearing,” Mbatsane said in a statement.
Mathebula said he saw the press statement that Mbatsane released on behalf of the provincial executive committee and was “shocked, what is it that I did”?
“Currently as I’m sitting here I’m not sure what is it that I did,” he told the 013NEWS reporter over the phone.
“I don’t even know of a suspension because from where I’m sitting now I haven’t received anything that seeks to say ‘Comrade Thabang you are suspended or here’s an intent to suspend you’. No. I’m still waiting for anybody to come to me and say ‘you are suspended and this is what you have done’,” he said Thursday morning.
He said it was “unorganisational” of the PEC to suspend him through a press statement and “[that] is not how we process issues in the organisation”.
“So I’m not sure whether the person who wrote the press statement felt he had to put my name in it or is that of somebody else. I don’t know. But what I can say is that I have had an regional executive committee meeting and the convener of the region from the province was here and I can confirm that there is no message of that nature that was communicated,” he said.
In the press statement, Mbatsane said that a disciplinary hearing is meant to restore order and “not meant to resolve private problems”.
“The PEC wants to put it on record that and in a clearer context that disciplinary procedures are not meant to resolve private problems, intimidate or silence a particular member. The whole purpose of DC processes is restore order and discipline within the organisation,” he said.
Mathebula wants to be the provincial chair of the ANCYL when a congress is held on 7 December 2018. He will face-off with Trevor Nkosi, the provincial deputy chair who is also gunning for the same seat.
Provincial spokesman Bheki Sithole said they will not reveal what Mathebula did because he still has to appear before a disciplinary committee.
“He is suspended. The disciplinary committee will summon him. But for now we are not gonna be able to publish the detailed charge sheet, I can only confirm that he is suspended,” Sithole said, adding the matter is “sub-judice”.
” He is yet to receive his charge sheet from the disciplinary committee and the date of appearance. After everything has been done we will then make it public. We will come back and say ‘this is what he is charged for’,” said Sithole.
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.
Mpumalanga provincial secretary Pholoso Mbatsane (L) and national treasurer Reggie Nkabinde (R).
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 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.
Mpumalanga ANCYL leader Tim Mashele. 013NEWS/ZK.
“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.