Divided ANC appoints 35 young people to resuscitate its Youth League

The party disbanded the structure in 2018 after it failed to elect new leadership, internal squabbles also affected its last national task team

Secretary general Ace Magashule introduced members of the ANCYL National Youth Task Team on Thursday 8 April 2021. Picture: @MyANC/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) has, amidst deep divisions and financial problems, announced the appointment of 35 young people in a bid to resuscitate its Youth League.

The appointments, which were announced by secretary general Ace Magashule at a media briefing on Thursday afternoon, follow last week’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting, which agreed on a list of young people who can help prepare the league for its much anticipated elective conference.

WATCH: Announcement of 30 people appointed to revive the ANCYL

The party disbanded the structure in 2018 after it failed to elect new leadership, internal squabbles also affected its last national task team.

Some of the members of the task team include former President Jacob Zuma’s daughter Tutu Zuma, the late Jackson Mthembu’s spokesperson Nonceba Mohlauli, fees must fall leader Fasiah Hassan.

Magashule said the task team would function as a preparatory committee: “Its key task is to strengthen and consolidate existing structures of the Youth League and to build new ones in consultations with structures at various levels. It is also charged with the responsibility to roll out a programme of action bringing together young people from different backgrounds.”

YOUNG LIONS WILL ROAR AGAIN

The ANC’s 35-member Youth League National Task Team is being seen as an opportunity for the once mighty structure to be reignited.

While a conference elected new leaders in 2015, they were largely seen as henchmen of a faction and they too were disbanded in 2019.

Magashule said the ANC hoped this new task team would help unite the embattled organisation.

"The young lions will roar again," this is the sentiment expressed by many of the young people gathered at Luthuli House.

Muhlauli said the committee would not only work on taking young party members to conference but wanted to fully understand the status of the league.

“What is the politics of the Youth League? Is it a constructive kind of political engagement? Do we need to redirect and reposition?"

They have also made a commitment to not allow the factional battles of their senior counterparts to influence the task team.

Coordinator Joy Maemela said the league needed to have elected leadership as young people had missed an opportunity to have a say on numerous key issues confronting the ANC.

“We have lost an opportunities to have a voice in decision making. When the NEC sits and discusses serious key issues, we are not there and do not have a voice as young people.”

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