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News24.com | ‘Young lions’ shouldn’t wait for opportunities to climb ANC leadership ladder

News24.com | ‘Young lions’ shouldn’t wait for opportunities to climb ANC leadership ladder

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola

PHOTO: Jan Gerber, News24

  • Ronald Lamola says young people shouldn’t wait for opportunities to climb the ANC leadership ladder.
  • Lamola is likely to become Cyril Ramaphosa’s second-in-command at the December elective conference.
  • He told a Youth Day gathering in Mpumalanga that modern-day challenges need fresh ideas.

Ronald Lamola vowed not to wait in the ANC’s leadership queue, signalling his most explicit intention to contest the ANC’s deputy president position in December.

Lamola, an ANC national executive committee member, who is justice and correctional services minister, is likely to avail himself to become President Cyril Ramaphosa’s second-in-command at the party’s December elective conference.

Most of the contestations ahead of the December conference are for the position of deputy president because a second term for Ramaphosa is all but guaranteed.

READ | Jeff Radebe’s name in the hat for ANC deputy president

On Saturday, the 38-year-old Lamola told a youth gathering in the eHlanzeni region, Mpumalanga, that he was being told that he was too young for top ANC positions.

But, according to Lamola, modern-day challenges need new energy, new thinking and fresh ideas.

Lamola said:

You are the most experienced with today’s challenges. The challenges of HIV and Aids, unemployment and many social ills that you are facing. You must not be told by anyone that you are not experienced enough to resolve them. You are the better ones to resolve these challenges.

He also said some in the opposition, like the EFF, have told young leaders “to wait”.

“We are even told by opposition parties that we must wait in the queue and that we are trying to jump the queue.

“The opposition, like the EFF, when they tell us to wait, it is not that the ANC does not have access to the most immediate resources of young and energetic, educated and orientated [young people]… they (EFF) wanted to remain relevant and retard the liberation movement,” he said.

Lamola said many ANC “young lions” – like Fikile Mbalula and Malusi Gigaba – waited in vain for their chance to be elevated to the top strata of the ANC.

“The middle-aged comrades have also swelled the ranks of the ANC. That is a generational mix in action. If you are told that you are skipping the queue, the organisation is losing good energy and a good resources; you can wait forever in that queue.

“Peter Mokaba waited to be one of the officials of the ANC. Comrade Fikile Mbalula waited, Malusi Gigaba waited, Comrade Febe Potgieter-Gqubule waited. We are also told to wait in this queue. It means we are going to wait forever because all those that came before us are still waiting in that queue,” Lamola said.

READ | Ramaphosa gets first endorsement for second term as ANC president

While contestations have not been officially confirmed, other contenders for the position of deputy president include ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile and former minister Jeff Radebe.

The incumbent deputy president, David Mabuza, is also expected to run.

Lamola, who is seen as a close ally of Ramaphosa, said there was no hope of making “it to the other line if young people” are going to wait.

“So, we must refuse to be told to wait, even by the opposition. Even within our ranks, we must not allow that jealousy and that kind of thinking to infuse some level of factionalism,” he said. 

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