ANC to pay R21m for youth league conference

Johannesburg - The ANC Youth League needs R21m to pay for its upcoming elective conference – and the ANC is set to foot the bill, City Press reports.

Two sources involved in organising the conference told City Press that although the league was now in the black, the ANC had agreed to pay during a meeting with the league’s task team on 15 August.

National task team convenor Mzwandile Masina confirmed that the league was looking at R21m for transport, accommodation and venue, but denied the ANC would pay.

“As the youth league we are taking responsibility. We are an autonomous body,” he said.

Masina said the league was “negotiating” with Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand about “outstanding technicalities”.

The league wants to use the venue for the planned 24 September - 28 September conference, which will be its first gathering since the organisation was disbanded last year.

A source said the conference had to be held there as part of an agreement to settle the league’s debts.

In April, Gallagher took the league to court to get more than R4m it was owed for hosting its conference in June 2011, when Julius Malema was re-elected as leader.

The league was liquidated late last year because of outstanding debts. Masina said then that the league owed debtors between R50m and R70m and warned this could rise to R90m.

This week he said: “We are negotiating. We are facing our own challenges. We owed not less than R54m. We attempted to pay everybody. So as we stand we have no court matters before us.”

ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize did not want to comment when asked if the ANC was paying for the conference. “I’m not getting into those issues. The Youth League must cover those issues.”

Masina said five provinces had completed their conferences. The Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal must still meet.

The nomination of former league treasurer Pule Mabe by the league in Gauteng last weekend grabbed headlines, but a supporter of his contender, league coordinator Magasela Mzobe, said the Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, North West and Free State favoured Mzobe.