Disband dysfunctional task team and remove over-35s, ANCYL demands of Ace

Ace Magashule. Picture: Jacques Naude / African News Agency (ANA)

‘We have, just in this past week, witnessed, with great shock and embarrassment, the NYTT issuing a statement attacking the ANC Women’s League,’ the young lions said.

Members of the ANC’s youth wing have again called for the disbandment of its national youth task team (NYTT), calling it a structure foreign to the constitutional prescripts of the ANC and the ANC Youth League (ANCYL).

In a letter to ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule – signed by 107 members of the young lions – the members demanded the immediate removal of all people above the age of 35 from all structures of the ANCYL, as their continued occupation of those positions remain unconstitutional.

“We further demand that the ANC NEC [national executive committee] disband the NYTT and place all youth matters back to their rightful owners – the youth and allow the youth to build their own organisation. Organisations have membership, and it is the duty and responsibility of membership, to build their organisations. These rights and responsibilities only reside with membership.”

The 107 youth league members demanded that Magashule respond by 2 September.

The task team was established by the NEC after the ANCYL failed to go to conference and was mandated to take the young lions to conference in early 2020.

Dysfunctional

The high-ranking ANCYL members said the organisation was worse off since the NYTT was appointed.

They said structures were dysfunctional, including the NYTT itself.

“We have seen members of the NYTT fight each other in public with Pule Mabe and Sibongile Besani distancing themselves from decisions of the NYTT. We have, just in this past week, witnessed, with great shock and embarrassment, the NYTT issuing a statement attacking the ANC Women’s League – a statement which some NYTT members have distanced themselves from on public platforms. Is it also unclear where the NYTT derives the mandate to issue public statements, with extreme grammatical errors, on the affairs of other constitutional bodies of the ANC,” the letter read.

In a shock move earlier this year, Besani, the NYTT coordinator, resigned with immediate effect, accusing some task team members of manipulating processes. Magashule then redeployed him back into his positions. Allegations of internal disputes have rocked the NYTT.

“In the age of the world of the internet, had the ANCYL been led by agile and innovative young people, we would have long seen innovative solutions for conducting virtual Branch General Meetings, Annual General Meetings, Regional Conferences, Provincial Conferences and a National Conference. This is a practice that other political parties around the world have adopted – the current elections processes in the United States of America is a case in point.”

The members also cited that the time for all provincial structures of the youth league had lapsed. The members said it was essential that the ANCYL revives, rescues and reorganises itself in the changing and post-apartheid South Africa.

The youth league members said the wing needed to revive its rightful character insofar as its vibrancy and progressive militancy were concerned. They added that the young lions need to rescue itself from the bondages of its dependency relationship with the ANC.

“It needs to rally the increasingly youth populace behind the ANC, whilst still advancing youth development. It also needs to reorganise itself towards building a second layer of leadership that is not only politically, but academically capable, in line with what is required of a people working towards the realisation of a national democratic society.

“It needs to reorganise itself in order to be able to unite the Progressive Youth Alliance and all other youth formations and/or youth movements across the country. Synergy among these structures is paramount in order to adequately regain trust and confidence among the youth. This task, can only [be] carried out by the youth, for the youth,” the young lions said.

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