Ndabeni-Abrahams defended Mbalula’s ANCYL ‘unilateralism’

An effort to have the ANC secretary general account for his actions at the ANCYL conference was thwarted by his allies at a recent National Working Committee meeting

Ndabeni-Abrahams defended Mbalula’s ANCYL ‘unilateralism’
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula spoke at the press conference at Safa House in Johannesburg on Wednesday about allegations of bribery during the 2010 Fifa World Cup selection process.

Efforts to hold ANC secretary general Fikile Mbalula to account for his “actions” at the youth league’s (ANCYL) national conference were thwarted by his ally Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams during a national working committee meeting. 

Insiders with intimate knowledge of the recent meeting said that Mondli Gungubele and Enoch Godongwana attempted to have Mbalula account for his decisions in the build up to the young lions elective conference, however the move was quickly blocked by his allies – dubbed the platinum group. 

“The NWC is dominated by the platinum group with the exception of Mdumiseni Ntuli, Thembi Nkadimeng and Joy Maimela,” one insider said. 

The group is said to be allied with Mbalula, who insiders say has shown signs of ambition to become ANC president.  

According to insiders, Gungubele and Godongwana were some of the ANC leaders who attempted to take Mbalula to task over his decision to remove Xola Nqola as the ANCYL national task team convenor. 

“They felt that he made a unilateral decision which should have been taken by the NWC. They also took issue with how he handled himself. He acted alone and never consulted the NWC,” one insider said. 

Another insider, who did not want to get into the specifics of the meeting, said Ndabeni-Abrahams led the charge to defend Mbalula against the two NWC members. 

The first ANC leader said Mbalula did not mince his words, telling the ANC leaders that he had a duty as the party’s chief administrator to ensure that the youth league conference happened without a glitch. 

The election of Collen Malatji as youth league president was marred by allegations that Mbalula and national organiser Mdu Manana, among others, had interfered. 

Claims that Mbalula had dismissed Nqola to ensure a favourable outcome for his alleged preferred candidate Malatji, dominated the conference. 

Some within the youth leagues task team wrote to Luthuli House in the middle of the conference calling out Mbalula for interfering in the process and calling for autonomy. 

Mbalula subsequently told the young lions that the ANC would only surrender control of the league once it elected its leaders. 

Ndabeni-Abrahams, a former ally of Eastern Cape chair Oscar Mabuyane and by extension Gungubele and Godongwana, is said to have changed allegiances. She along with Eastern Cape provincial ANC secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi are alleged to be at odds with Mabuyane and his provincial camp.

This culminated with the election of Vuyo Jali as the ANCYL provincial chairperson, the two leaders preferred candidate, this week. 

Jali was expected to be contested by Luntu Sokutu, who is believed to have been Mabuyane’s preferred candidate. 

The league first held a conference in the same week as its national conference, electing Sokutu. But just hours after Sokutu was elected, Mbalula wrote to the provincial structure nullifying the conference and his election. 

Mbalula’s actions came after Ngcukayitobi wrote his own letter demanding that the league refrain from holding an election, but the young lions in Sokutu’s camp refused his order. 

The cold war between Mabuyane and his former allies Ngcukayitobi and Ndabeni-Abrahams is part of a power struggle which has led to the two forming an alliance with Mbalula, insiders say. 

“Mabuyane and his allies in the Chris Hani region have alienated some regions and those from OR Tambo region including the provincial secretary and Stella have reached their limit. 

“There is a hot contest between the OR Tambo and Chris Hani region. I think Mabuyane should be worried. He should have done better to campaign at the elective conference and I think people like Stella who worked hard for him, are tired. Now we wait to know what happens in the list process. 

“Does he come back as the premier and become a lame duck with no powers in the provincial executive committee or do they send him to national to fight it out there? Either way, he must find friends or make nice,” the insider said.

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