DA Youth leadership race turns ugly

The jostle for the top spots in the DA Youth is getting ugly with Facebook insults flying about remarks made by its federal chairperson, Mbali Ntuli, in an apparently private phone conversation.

In the phone conversation, of which clips were recorded and distributed as Blackberry sound files, Ntuli expressed her personal opinion about possible candidates for the organisation’s leadership.

The youth is set to hold their elective conference in April after it was postponed from November because of a disarray within its structures.

The current leader, Makashule Gana, who was elected as one of the DA deputy federal chairpersons at the party’s November conference, will be stepping down because he is too old, but it is believed that Ntuli is a possible candidate.

Johannesburg DA councillor Toni Molefe is likely to contest her, and his supporters today attacked Ntuli on her Facebook wall.

One of them, Derick Mosoana, a representative of the DA Youth in Limpopo, this week resigned from his position in an email which he circulated to colleagues, attaching the clip of Ntuli’s phone conversations.

Among the reasons for his resignation he mentioned “the continued postponement of the Federal Youth Congress without substantial reasons”, the failure of the youth’s federal council to establish provincial structures, interference by the DA in the “political affairs” of the youth, and a collapse of trust between him and DA national youth director Aimee Franklin in which she apparently accused him of lacking maturity.

Mosoana, who confirmed that he would be supporting Molefe and running for Limpopo youth leadership himself, told City Press he didn’t know where the recorded clips came from. “It has been circulating since last year but I only got hold of these this year,” he said.

In one of the clips, obtained by City Press, Ntuli talks about an “event” in Gauteng, apparently organised by a rival, and assessing whether it would be a success or not. In an apparent reference to Molefe she says: “That Toni is a very big one we need to find out about.”

Molefe has been prominent at recent DA conferences and events in Gauteng as master of ceremonies, when he could be seen dancing on stage with DA leader Helen Zille.

Meanwhile the Facebook comment posted this morning by a Gauteng youth leader, Tabelo Maraka, on Ntuli’s wall seems to have been removed. In her comment, Maraka said: “Morning federal chair. A very interesting voice note/clip going around BBM and whatsapp. At first we thought it was rumours but now that we heard your voice its not sitting well with US.(sic)”

Mosoana also commented on the post, saying Ntuli’s reference to Molefe was an attempt to “distance (him) away” from a youth wage subsidy which was due to take place in the province.

Ntuli, who could not immediately be reached for comment, commented on her page that she stood by her opinion as expressed in the clips. She said the youth “must not fall into … this nonsense of being about personal attacks and people’s personalities. It’s petty and it detracts from the more important issues we need to be putting on the table.”

She said the “ultimate decision” still rested with the delegates at an elective congress.


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