MMANALEDI MATABOGE AND MATUMA LETSOALO | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Jul 09 2010 17:45
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ANC Youth League president Julius Malema moved closer to regaining control of the organisation after a meeting this week of top ANC officials and five of the youth league's national leaders, who took a harsh stance against Malema's opponents.
The meeting of officials mandated the ruling party's secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, and his ANCYL counterpart, Vuyiswa Tulelo, to instruct disgruntled youth league factions in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape to withdraw legal action against Malema's national executive committee (NEC).
Mantashe and Tulelo successfully convinced the youth league in the Eastern Cape to drop the court battle. The next stop is Malema's home province of Limpopo, where the ANC leaders are likely to face a challenge from the group supporting ousted youth league provincial chairperson Lehlogonolo Masoga.
This week the Masoga faction claimed that a meeting with ANC provincial chairperson and Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale and the party's provincial secretary, Joe Maswanganyi, had concluded that the youth league provincial conference should be reconvened. But the meeting of high-level national officials rejected the proposal, while Mathale also disputed suggestions that he had agreed to convene a fresh provincial conference.
The national leaders' meeting endorsed the new Limpopo youth league leadership of Frans Moswane and resolved that disciplinary action against Masoga should continue.
An ANCYL NEC member told the Mail & Guardian that the ANC is expected to take harsh action against those who defy Mantashe's instructions to withdraw legal action against the youth league.
"The ANC's view is that if Masoga is unhappy about the outcome of the Limpopo conference and the disciplinary action against him, he should explore the party's internal processes to appeal," said the NEC member.
Maswanganyi is expected to meet Mantashe next week to brief him on attempts to intervene in the Masoga versus Malema political impasse. Said Mathale: "We agreed that the secretary of the province should brief the national leadership on the outcome of the meeting. We do not want to do something different from what the national leadership is doing."
The divisions within the youth league in several provinces are a reflection of the ANC's succession battle in 2012. The M&G has learned through youth league insiders that the Malema-led faction wants the ANCYL's national general council, scheduled for next month, to take a resolution to endorse Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula as the next secretary general of the ANC. The plan is to lobby the ANC Women's League to support the Mbalula campaign.
This plan is likely to face objections from a faction aligned to Masoga and Malema's deputy, Andile Lungisa, who both want Mantashe to retain his position.