The ANC National Youth Task Team say it’s fake news as they’ve not even discussed it.
THE ANC’s National Youth Task Team (NYTT) has dismissed reports and rumours that it has endorsed President Cyril Ramaphosa for a second term.
NYTT national spokesperson Sizophila Mkhize told Independent Media on Sunday that there was no truth in the reports and rumours, saying the team has not even discussed the issue, as the party’s nomination process has not yet started.
Mkhize said any member of the league or member of the NYTT who might have said that, should have made it clear that it was his or her individual support for the president’s second term.
He said the task team was busy with the preparation for the conference, which is expected to take place in March. It would be at this conference that the announcement would be made who it will back to be elected as ANC president.
Meanwhile, Ramaphosa appeared to have had a difficult stay in Limpopo, from his arrival on Wednesday to the build-up to the January 8 rally on Saturday.
During the cadre’s forum in Sekhukhune on Wednesday, the president apparently launched his second-term bid. Regional leaders pronounced their support for this, which angered branches in KwaZulu-Natal.
Several branch leaders who spoke to Independent Media on Thursday said they had planned to go to the party’s 110th birthday celebrations in Limpopo, but their spirits were dampened by the president, who they said was using the movement’s calendar event to launch his second-term campaign.
They told Independent Media on Friday that they were no longer going to the event, as their presence would be regarded as an endorsement of the president’s second term.
One branch leader in KZN, who declined to be named, said that they decided to refocus their energies in preparation for regional conferences instead of attending the event.
Ramaphosa was also called a “liar” by traditional leaders, who said he had not fulfilled the promises he had made to them.
As if this was not enough, Ramaphosa had to be escorted out without addressing the Women’s League event. This was apparently due to Covid-19 protocols being ignored.
On Friday, at a gala dinner, the president was further embarrassed when the lights went off while he was delivering his speech.
He was also made to wait at a youth event, where young people demanded entry to the venue, breaking the Covid-19 protocol of not more than 2,000 people in an open space.
The rumours about the NYTT endorsing Ramaphosa’s second term was apparently sparked by Mhlauli and other NYTT senior members’ presence at the youth rally in Limpopo, where members chanted “second term for Ramaphosa” while throwing two fingers in the air, as a sign of second-term endorsement.
Mhlauli denied that the NYTT endorsed the president’s second term, saying those who called for the second term were members of the youth league, adding the NYTT had not pronounced anyone yet.
Ramaphosa’s apparent focus on his second term was also criticised by human rights and violence monitor Mary de Haas, who urged the president to focus on governing the country rather than on his personal political ambition.
De Haas said the president should be worried about the spate of attacks on important institutions like Parliament and the Constitutional Court, which were damaged last week.
She said these attacks proved that the country was moving to a failed state, which she said would be a disaster for everyone.
“The president must leave his political campaign to his supporters or lobbyists to take it forward so that he must focus on governing the country and on improving state security which is dysfunctional even though he took under his wing in a last Cabinet reshuffling,” said De Haas.
She added that even the power failure while the president was addressing guests at the gala dinner with businesses was not something to be taken lightly.
She said if it was sabotage, though it was not clear who could have done it between his faction and the other, because both were capable of doing so for various reasons.
Last week, the anger of the radical economic transformation (RET) faction was noted, which criticised the president for asking business to pay R1.2 million for a table to dine with him, claiming that it was a blatant call for businesses to capture the state, something the president said he was fighting through the state capture commission.
Political analyst Dr Meitji Makgoba said the president’s financial muscle would easily propel him to the party presidency again in the coming elective conference, saying he does not see anyone within the party who can successfully challenge him. He said he has managed to launch a fightback campaign against RET forces.
“All his enemies have been squashed. He may not be the right man to lead the party’s second term as he was very much the problem in the party, but at the moment the party has no alternative,” said Makgoba.