THE ANC Youth League has agreed to close the chapter on its expelled president Julius Malema and will now take guidance from its mother body.
This follows a decision at last month’s ANC national conference that the league’s national executive committee be disbanded. This led to the ANC’ s top six officials meeting its youthful counterparts to find a solution to their differences.
A subsequent ANCYL meeting on Friday in Johannesburg agreed to close the Malema chapter and accept the decision of the ANC to expel him.
The Mangaung conference rejected a written appeal from Malema.
“We accept and respect the outcome of the national conference, thus bringing the matter to an end,” spokesperson Khusela Sangoni-Khawe said.
With the Malema chapter now closed, the same meeting resolved to reinstate Malema’s political opponent and the league’s treasurer-general Pule Mabe to his position.
Mabe was suspended by the youth league last year for “bringing the party into disrepute”.
At a heated meeting with the ANCYL’s officials a week ago, the ANC’s top six told the youth wing’s NEC they had flouted party processes when they removed Mabe .
“The NEC acknowledged the proper process had not been followed in removing [Mabe] and resolved to reinstate him unconditionally,” said Sangoni-Khawe.
Sources said the meeting got so heated at one point ANCYL Eastern Cape chairman Ayanda Matiti clashed with Andile Lungisa, accusing him of betraying the organisation.
Both are powerful ANCYL leaders from the Eastern Cape.
This happened when the NEC was discussing disbanding Lungisa’s Nelson Mandela region.
Lungisa is one of the league leaders earmarked to replace Malema.
But the ANC must first give the go- ahead for the league to hold an elective national general council (NGC) .
The ANC gave the league’s NEC three options during their reconciliation meeting a week ago: to disband; to work with the ANC and go to an NGC and fill Malema’s position, or else to go for an early conference.
The NGC option seems the one most favoured by the provinces, including the Eastern Cape.
This has already caused tension as several names – including Lungisa, Mabe and Higher Education Deputy Minister Mdu Manana – have been bandied about as replacements for Malema.
Lungisa lost to Matiti when the Eastern Cape ANCYL went to conference in 2009, a contest which saw at least two meetings shelved as the Lungisa group approached the Grahamstown High Court to challenge the legitimacy of the delegates’ credentials .
Sources said Matiti reminded the NEC of the court case. “He [Matiti] asked: ‘What it was about Lungisa? Everyone is talking about Lungisa. This is the same Lungisa who took this organisation to court’,” said an NEC member who was at the meeting.
Lungisa reportedly raised his hand and responded smilingly: “Is this meeting going to allow Matiti to do this to me? What if I bring his dirty linen to the fore too?”
The deputy president, Ronald Lamola, interjected and called Matiti to order. “He told him, comrade, you do not have a blank cheque to speak here. At some point you must finish.”
Lungisa enjoys support in the Nelson Mandela Bay, parts of OR Tambo, Amathole, Buffalo City and Cacadu.
Another source said Matiti was angry because Lungisa did not support his bid for a second term, and that many provinces wanted Lungisa to replace Malema.
“He is frustrated because no one wants him [Matiti] back in office,” another source said.
The provincial league is due to hold its conference in March. Lungisa endorses a Momelezi Mbedla-led lineup.
Both Matiti and Lungisa refused to comment on the incident. Lungisa said: “I don’t comment on internal discussions of the organisation.”
Matiti echoed similar sentiments, saying whatever he said at the meeting was an “internal matter and he would not therefore comment on it”.
Sangoni-Khawe also refused to comment on the matter, saying “within a meeting, comrades express themselves freely about any matter they feel strongly about. It would be incorrect to discuss such a matter with the media.” — email@example.com