Njabulo Nzuza.    Picture: SOWETAN
Njabulo Nzuza. Picture: SOWETAN

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) said on Tuesday it backed Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its presidential candidate.

The league is the third ANC structure to endorse Dlamini-Zuma, after the ANC Women’s League in January and the Umkhonto weSizwe Veterans Association at the weekend.

President Jacob Zuma’s successor will be chosen in December, but official nominations are not yet open. Dlamini-Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa are frontrunners for the ANC’s top position.

Njabulo Nzuza, the league’s general secretary, said the ANCYL national executive committee expected the leaders it backed to be committed to radical economic transformation.

It also said the league would back ANC Mpumalanga chairman David Mabuza as deputy president, Free State Premier Ace Magashule as secretary-general, Nathi Mthethwa as national chairman, Jessie Duarte as deputy secretary-general and Fikile Mbalula as a second deputy secretary-general.

There is no second secretary-general position and the youth league will have to motivate its proposal.

Committed Leaders

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is the league’s choice to replace treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize.

Nzuza said radical economic transformation had to be characterised by land expropriation without compensation, free and quality education, strengthening and improving the quality of public healthcare, and bringing back a state bank to finance industrial and agrarian reform.

Njabulo said the league wanted leaders who were committed to taking SA towards a social order in which the economic system was in the hands of the people.

He said the leaders had to expand economic participation “to the majority of our land by breaking the stranglehold of white monopoly capital on the systems of ownership”.

Nothing Special

About why the youth league had decided to back Dlamini-Zuma and not Ramaphosa, league president Collen Maine said “there is nothing special about Cyril or about any member of the ANC. The constitution that guides us says that every member of the organisation, including Cyril and Nkosazana, has a right to elect and be elected to any positions.” Ramaphosa has been endorsed by trade union federation Cosatu.

Cosatu has banned Zuma from addressing its events and has asked that Ramaphosa replace him.

“We respect comrades, including comrade Cyril Ramaphosa. However, the view of the youth league is that Mama Nkosazana must be president. We are not going to gauge comrades’ qualities and all of that. We are not going to enter that space,” Maine said. 

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