War of words over illegitimate leaders of youth body.
THE battle for the soul of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in the Vhembe region of Limpopo is intensifying, with prominent local leaders dismissing each other as illegitimate.
Now deputy provincial secretary Matome Moremi’s name has dragged into the fray as Vhembe ANCYL regional coordinator Fistos Mafela and his rival, Raymond Hlungwani, also known as “MJ Wa Azania”, fight for control of the league in the region.
This comes after Mafela publicly took issue with Hlungwani’s media statements released on behalf of the Collins Chabane sub-region, saying the press releases had no standing in the organisation as they had been released by bogus and fraudulent leaders.
Hlungwani is a prominent ANCYL activist whose structure was apparently disbanded by the league’s provincial executive committee (PEC) for alleged misconduct.
He has rejected the decision, saying he and his fellow comrades did not recognise it because it was taken by what they regard as an illegitimate conference that elected Moremi as the Limpopo ANCYL’s deputy secretary last year. The same conference retained David “Che” Selane as Provincial Secretary.
Mafela this week called on Hlungwani and his group to refrain from tarnishing the image of the ANCYL with their “fraudulent” media releases on social media. He said the league in the Collins Chabane region was led by Ngalava Mabasa and Simon Maluleke, not Hlungwani and his group.
“The Leadership of that sub region is Simon and the convener is Ngalava. The likes of MJ Wa Azania, we do not know them and we do not have their membership card in our position. They are just writing those statements from the comfort of their homes. Even if you read the constitution of the ANC Youth League, a sub region does not issue statements. So those people are just doing whatever they wish to do,” Mafela said.
“We actually do not want to entertain them because if we were to do so, we would be just wasting our time. If they were members of the Youth League we would discipline them but how can we discipline a person who is not even a member of the party. We have in the past raised this issue with the PEC and they had given us feedback to say that we do not recognize them.”
He said the trouble started after Hlungwani was expelled from the Youth League structures for allegedly defying party principles.
“MJ is just bitter because he was disbanded along with his friend by the ANCYL proper structures for not taking organization serious. They were used to fight certain political battles for certain individuals within the movement.
“But we still stand by the decision that no sub-region must issue a statement of ANCYL as regions, provinces and national executive committees have the power to do so.”
Hlungwani hit back, however, saying he and his fellow comrades do not recognise both the regional and provincial leadership.
“We are the leadership of Collins Chabane Sub Region and there is no one else. People such as Matome were never elected by the ANC Youth League branches. So, where we are standing, we are still recognized by the first PEC. It is the same PEC that elected Che-Selane that made us a sub-region of the ANC Youth League and we believe that was the legitimate structure,” he said.
“The one that went to a bogus congress and elected Matome Moremi was unconstitutional and it has people who are not even qualified to be members of the ANC Youth League. So the very same people cannot tell us what to do because even the coordinator of the Youth League in Vhembe, Fistos Mafela is 40 years old and he does qualify to be a member. They can say that we are not recognized but we will never take any mandate from them because we do not even recognize them as well.”
When approached for comment, a visibly annoyed Moremi said: “My comment is that we should respect each other. You cannot expect me to comment on something that I do not know. You are entertaining one person and it is not a group. You want me to entertain one person? We have told you over and over again that there is a structure there in Collins Chabane that is led by Ngalava. No let’s respect each other; I don’t want to talk about this thing anymore.”