Youth League officially nominates Motlanthe for president
The ANC Youth League has officially nominated Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe for president of the ruling party and sports minister Fikile Mbalula for the position of ANC secretary-general ahead of the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung.
The league’s deputy president Ronald Lamola said while Motlanthe has not accepted any nominations for the 53rd ANC conference, the league believed that he would make himself available to contest the presidency against President Jacob Zuma.
The league would await the outcomes of the branch general meetings later this month to discuss who to nominate for the other four positions of the ANC’s top six.
Other candidates that the league wants branches to consider for leadership positions include current ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa, ANC Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile, Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale, current deputy secretary-general Thandi Modise and ANC national executive member Thenjiwe Mtintso.
Lamola said any of these candidates may be nominated for any of the four positions.
He acknowledged that the league was divided on who to nominate for the position of deputy president.
Mashatile, who has also been touted to contest for the position of ANC chairperson, and Sexwale are reportedly the two ANC leaders who may be nominated for the position of deputy president.
The league was not expecting Motlanthe to pronounce on whether he accepts the nomination or not until he is approached by the Independent Electoral Commission which will run the election process in Mangaung.
“South Africa needs a new generation of leaders. We need new, fresh thinking. We need innovative leadership and we believe that is Kgalema Motlanthe,” said Lamola.
The league said it agreed with Zuma that he would only serve one term as president. Zuma was quoted as saying this soon after the 2007 conference in Polokwane.
The league’s secretary-general Kenetswe Mosenogi referred to Zuma as an “elder” who would still play a role in the ANC after he has left the leadership position.
Lamola said the league was not concerned about the increase in membership numbers in Zuma’s stronghold of KwaZulu-Natal, which will send the largest delegation of voting delegates with 974 members.
“We are not worried at all about that increase. Those members must be inducted into organisational values. The increase is a reflection of the organisational growth and the decline of the impact of the IFP,” said Lamola.
The league said Motlanthe had displayed the leadership skills needed to take the ANC and the country forward, adding that he had particularly shown leadership by calling the league to order when it went astray.
“Primarily the kind of leadership we need is leadership that adheres to our political programme for economic freedom in our lifetime,” said Lamola.
The league did not expect Motlanthe to help expelled ANCYL leader Julius Malema return to the party’s fold if he emerges as the new leader after Mangaung.
Lamola urged members not to be swayed by any acts of intimidation, the use of money, purging of leaders or government officials to nominate and elect a certain leader.
“The ANC must act decisively to ensure that all comrades are afforded an opportunity to voice (their leadership preferences) without fear or favour”, said Lamola.