WATCH | BCM youth council in disarray

At a chaotic conference youth wings of leading political parties told Buffalo City Metro mayor Xola Pakati to nullify the BCM Youth Council.

At a chaotic conference youth wings of leading political parties told Buffalo City Metro mayor Xola Pakati to nullify the BCM Youth Council.

The conference, which took place on Wednesday at the Buffalo Park Cricket Stadium, was held under the watchful eye of heavily armed police.

Opposition to the council came from the ANC-aligned SA Student Congress, the Democratic Alliance Youth, the ANC Youth League, Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command and youth ward committee representatives.

But the youth desk committee member for ward 1, Zikhona Mkhaba, told the Dispatch the conference was illegitimate and excluded many people representing the youth in their wards.

“I do not know these people who are here. Most of the youth committee members in the youth desk are not part of it. In fact we were prevented from entering. Our names were not on the list,” she said.

She said as the youth representative in her ward she was supposed to be made aware of the processes leading to the conference.

BCM has been without a legitimate youth structure after the term of the previous one ended in 2015.

Mkhaba claimed that Ondela Sokomani and Sipho Kilani, who were in the previous structure, carried on while other members left when the term ended.

While Mkhaba and 10 ward committee members on the youth desks were outside the venue, a group of other young people camped outside the King David Hotel foyer waiting to buttonhole Pakati, who was at the hotel for the council budget programme.

They wanted him to declare the newly elected BCM youth council null and void. They said no proper channels were followed in hosting the conference, which saw Sokomani retaining the chair.

In a joint statement addressed to BCM council speaker Alfred Mtsi, the youth wings said the nomination process was flawed.

Sokomani said the group “refused to acknowledge the fact that they had not done [sic] the necessary processes in order for them to be part of the conference.”

Pakati refused to comment, saying he was still waiting for a report from a representative they sent to the conference.

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