“There has never been a statement that says a member in good standing of the youth league cannot stand… as long as you are below 35,” convenor Mzwandile Masina told reporters in Johannesburg.
“Comrade Pule Mabe does qualify to stand. He’s a member of the youth league in ward 96 here in Johannesburg.”
Mabe is 34 this year.
Masina said it did not matter if he was elected and then turned older than 35 during his term. As long as he was younger than 35 when he was elected.
Mabe is currently facing fraud charges in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.
He and two others have been charged with fraud and corruption. They were arrested after handing themselves to the police last year.
Masina said the pending case would not have an effect on Mabe’s qualification for nomination.
“It is simple we are the youth league of the ANC and we have said everyone is innocent until proven guilty. So we will stick to that,” he said.
Mabe was ANCYL treasurer at the time that Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema was the league’s president.
During that time the organisation ran itself into extensive debt which led to liquidation cases against the ANCYL.
Also during his term in office, millions of rands of the ANCYL’s money reportedly went missing.
Masina said this was a “wild allegation”.
“It’s difficult to make these serious allegations about individuals. We have not found those allegations, we have not tested [them],” he said.
“Therefore it is very difficult for us to make wild accusations about individuals.”
Masina said there were no “millions” missing.
“The ANCYL [at the time] was spending money it did not have. No one stole the money… it was just an abuse of processes.”
The ANCYL in Gauteng has decided to put its support behind Mabe.
Other front-runners for the position of president included former deputy ANCYL president Ronald Lamola and NTT co-ordinator Magasela Mzobe.
Masina said official nominations for the leadership positions would take place at provincial general councils.
Mabe, Lamola and Mzobe qualified to stand.
The NTT took over the running of the ANCYL last year after its leadership and national executive committee had been disbanded by the ANC.
Masina said the league had stabilised and was ready to elect new leadership.
The elective conference would be held in Gauteng from September 24 to 28.