Anti-Zuma youth leadership of South Africa’s ANC dissolved
Move purges members who opposed leader’s recent re-election as party president
Jacob Zuma: African National Congress yesterday confirmed it had dissolved the leadership of its youth league, a move that purges it of members who opposed the president’s recent re-election as party president. Photograph: Themba Hadebe/AP Photo
At a press conference in Johannesburg ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the party’s National Executive Committee members had voted in favour of removing the youth league’s leaders after a four-day meeting that ended on Sunday.
“[This is] as a consequence of its continued ill-disciplined behaviour that brought the organisation into disrepute on numerous occasions,” Mr Mantashe said at the briefing.
Mr Mantashe, a close ally of South Africa n president Jacob Zuma, went on to reveal the party’s Limpopo provincial leadership had also been dissolved for “displaying totally un-ANC behaviour and institutionalised factional conduct”.
Both the youth league, under its former leader, Julius Malema, and the ANC’s Limpopo committee, had been ardent critics of Mr Zuma.
Mr Malema, who was expelled from the ANC last year and is facing corruption and racketeering charges in court next month, was particularly vitriolic in his opposition to the president.
The development would appear to remove any chance he might have had of finding a way back into the party, as the decision to disband the Limpopo committee is expected to be followed by the removal of the province’s premier, Cassel Mathale, from his post.
Mr Mathale was one of Mr Malema’s last remaining allies in the movement, and chairman of the now disbanded provincial executive.
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu may have come closer to revealing the ANC leaders’ true feelings about their move against the youth league shortly after the news was announced.
“It’s the first time in the history of the ANC that the youth league’s national executive committee has been dissolved. It proves: we take no shit!” he reportedly said.