ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Sihle Zikalala has reportedly slammed the ruling party’s youth league, saying it has a culture of disrespect, which can be traced back to the party’s seminal Polokwane conference in 2007.
The Mercury reported on Tuesday that Zikalala said the ANCYL used to have high regard for the leadership of the mother body, however, the fierce leadership race between former president Thabo Mbeki and President Jacob Zuma “completely” eroded that at the party’s 2007 conference.
He said he believed the way Zuma’s campaign was conducted, at the time, was a mistake because it brought about a culture of disrespect.
“Going to that conference, we saw a number of challenges which have never been seen before in the ANC,” Zikalala said.
“We saw members of the ANC burning the T-shirts of the then president of the ANC [Mbeki]. We saw members of the ANC leaving [the] reburial of the stalwart of the ANC when the then president was addressing them.”
The young lions in KZN have twice been criticised by the provincial leadership after they publicly endorsed former AU chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as their preferred candidate to succeed Zuma as ANC president.
The party said this was because it had not formally opened its succession debate.