The ANC Youth League’s national task team maintains it knows nothing about the resignation of coordinator Sibongile Besani, and this will not have an impact on plans for next month’s conference to elect a new leadership.
Besani resigned this week after the task team released a statement blasting the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg for granting the State its request to issue a warrant of arrest for former president Jacob Zuma for failing to appear in court during his corruption trial.
The warrant has been suspended until his next appearance in May.
Besani, who also heads up Cyril Ramaphosa’s office at the ANC’s headquarters, said the statement was issued in his name and without his knowledge, adding this was not the first time.
He also complained of audit processes, saying there was a parallel process underway that he had been left out of.
On Friday, the task team’s spokesperson, Sizophila Mkhize, told journalists it was difficult to speak about the matter as Besani had not resigned to the structure but to the secretary-general of the organisation.
She claimed he was present when the task team held a meeting to discuss its position on the Zuma matter and the league’s audit process.
“He was present at that meeting and there is no other process. He is not telling the truth,” she said.
Besani is seen as one of the Ramaphosa’s allies, while the convenor of the task team, Thandi Mahamelahla, is a well-known, long-time Zuma ally.
His resignation has been seen by some as a sign of continuing factional battles that have affected attempts to resuscitate a credible youth league that will give a strong voice to youth issues in the ANC.
The party dissolved the league executive, which was led by Collen Maine, last year after it failed to take the structure to its 26th conference.
The executive has also been described by many in the party as henchmen who are acting on the behalf of some leaders in the organisation.
While Mkhize said she could not speak on whether Besani would be replaced, she added work towards the elective conference would continue and the impact of his departure would not be felt.
“It means nothing, absolutely nothing … the congress is going to continue.”
Mkhize said Besani was also aware of developments around the audit process, saying there were concerns over auditors being threatened and attacked in some provinces.
“The meeting decided to do the audit because there have been cries that at times auditors are either threatened or bribed in provinces, so we thought let’s centralise and do it at Luthuli House,” she remarked.
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