Voices

The youth must protect their future. It is in great danger

2019-08-14 22:35

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) is at its lowest ebb since its establishment in 1944.

The organisation of Anton Lembede, OR Tambo, Nelson Mandela and AP Mda is in its worst state; after state capture facilitated by Jacob Zuma, with his puppet Collen Maine, the outgoing president, overstaying his term by more than three years.

That’s a death sentence for any democratic organisation!

Youth league members have been pressurising Maine and his executive to convene an elective conference to allow a smooth transition to a new leader.

The executive had to be pressurised with demonstrations at the recently concluded ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting, which decided to dissolve the league’s structure.

Like other ANC leagues such Veterans League, Women’s League and uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans’ Association, the youth league was captured by the Guptas, with permission from Zuma and his NEC.

Collen Maine.

Maine has confessed that he was introduced to the Guptas by former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo.

The expulsion of Julius Malema, Floyd Shivambu and other former youth league members to the EFF left a void in ANCYL.

Under Maine, it has never really recovered from that rupture. This was at the peak of state capture facilitated by Zuma.

The league is supposed to represent those young people with the sharpest and most refined minds in the ANC, but under Maine it became a horde that was preoccupied with grabbing tenders and fighting for access to resources in state-owned enterprises, municipalities and the Treasury.

The disbandment of the youth league is long overdue. But the damage through corruption has left it open for rearranging and realigning in line with respective slates and factions, not necessarily in the interests of ANC or the young people of South Africa.

The task team that has been mandated with preparing and convening the league’s elective conference is a mixed bag, tilting towards the Gupta-aligned faction while what is vital is integrity and trustworthiness.

It includes the same individuals who destroyed the league and their inclusion is like handing over a robbed bank to the thieves who looted it.

Youth league branches such as those of the mother body are captured.

The delegates to the conference are elected on the basis of one delegate for 50 members. This constitutes 2% of the membership representing 98% of the members left at home.

This method is undemocratic and unrepresentative and allows a crooked practice.

YOUTH LEAGUE

To save and renew the ANCYL, we need to introduce a “one member, one vote” system for electing office bearers of the ANC and its related structures and committees.

Failure to introduce these reforms ensures that the youth league will remain dead on its feet.

The party’s electoral commission cannot be trusted to do a proper job and could lead to the outcome being predetermined just as was seen at the ANC elective conference in Nasrec in December 2017, when 67 votes were lost somewhere in a cupboard. This is not how to revive or renew the youth league.

We need to introduce an electronic membership system in which the list of all youth league members will be consolidated with copies of the their IDs, finger prints and photos.

There can be a dual voting system: that is, electronic voting complemented by manual voting.

The key issue is that all ANCYL members should have the right to vote directly for their president, secretary general, treasurer general and other executive committee members for the first time since the establishment of the youth league in 1944.

There is no other way to ensure democracy and prevent capture.

Youth league members should exercise their democratic rights to demand a clean organisation, instead of a dirty fix to preserve state capture and servility in the hands of the Zuma power bloc.

The youth league of Lembede introduced the programme of action in the ANC in 1949.

The youth league of today must be in the forefront of ANC renewal in all spheres, including the ANC organisational renewal in a form of introducing an electronic membership system with one member, one vote for electing leaders as well as campaigning for parliamentary electoral reforms.

We need to establish individual accountability of politicians, with democratic control from the ground up.

Youth league members should exercise their democratic rights to demand a clean organisation, instead of a dirty fix to preserve state capture and servility in the hands of the Zuma power bloc.

Young South Africans should put themselves in the forefront to reform the ANC and reform the parliamentary electoral laws to allow direct elections of Members of Parliament, with accountability to the voters, not the party bosses.

As the South African economy deteriorates before our eyes, young people should not allow the current disgraceful abuse of the youth league.

The youth must protect their own future – it is in great danger.

  • Makgoale is a rank and file member of the ANC
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August 25 2019