Mbalula mustn't try to rule ANCYL from the grave – Maine

Johannesburg – The ANC Youth League says it still believes NEC member and Police Minister Fikile Mbalula should become one of the party's top officials, even though it seems he wants nothing to do with that.

The league, which resolved on its preferred candidates to take over the ANC’s top leadership when new leaders are elected at the party’s 54th National Elective Conference in December, said it wanted a new seventh top position - second deputy secretary general - to be created for Mbalula.

The league is backing former African Union commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to take over from her ex-husband Jacob Zuma to become president of the party, while it wants provincial chairpersons David Mabuza and Ace Magashule to occupy the deputy and secretary general posts respectively.

In a thread of tweets last week, Mbalula said Magashule was "a definite no no no" and "the man will finish what is remaining of our movement. He will kill it in fact."

ANC Youth League president Collen Maine took offence to the tweets.

"...To degrade another comrade like he did [with] Ace -   I don’t think it's okay. We still believe that Ace will not kill the ANC. If Mbalula and Ace have their historical issues in the Free State that’s not our issue," he said.

'He’s young, he’s energetic'

Speaking to journalists in his office on Monday, Maine also warned Mbalula against ruling the league "from the grave", saying he had his turn when he was president of the league.

"I think we are getting the message clearly that he won’t be available to serve the collective that we are suggesting," Maine said in reference to the league's slate of top officials.

He said the ANC had around one million members they could turn to if Mbalula was not interested is taking up the position of a second DSG.

Maine did however confirm that there would also be an attempt to engage with Mbalula over the matter.

Mbalula was also the Umkhonto WeSizwe Veterans Association's apparent candidate for a second DSG, however that has since changed, and his name no longer appears on the association’s special resolutions.

Defending Mbalula’s exclusion, the president of the MKMVA, Kebby Maphatsoe, said when he initially mentioned Mbalula’s name, it was still a proposal.

"We will allow other structures to convince us - we are also going to convince them. It’s not final, that’s our view as the MKMVA," said Maphatsoe.

"The youth league has proposed the issue of a top seven. We are not opposed to the proposal of the youth league of bringing Mbalula - he is a cadre, he’s young, he’s energetic."