South Africa’s ruling ANC party on Monday fired the leaders of its youth league and a rebellious northern province, after they voted against President Jacob Zuma’s leadership.
The African National Congress’s Youth League — once a crucible for the political careers of Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo — will see its executive committee replaced, the party said in a statement.
Officials cited the “continued ill-disciplined behaviour that brought the organisation into disrepute on numerous occasions”.
The ANC’s leadership in Limpopo province has also been axed due to “totally un-ANC behaviour and institutionalised factional conduct”.
ANC delegates from both the youth league and Limpopo had thrown their weight behind a challenger to Zuma’s party leadership in internal polls in December.
Zuma ended up sweeping effortlessly to victory in a near-guarantee of another term as South African president due to the ANC’s dominance in general elections.
Several people in the anti-Zuma camp lost top posts in the ANC’s executive body after backing his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe.
The ANC already got rid of one of Zuma’s fiercest backers turned critic, radical youth leader Julius Malema, who was booted out in February last year for sowing divisions and bringing the party into disrepute.
He has since been charged with graft and forced to auction his assets to pay back taxes.
One of his offences was making an unfavourable comparison of Zuma’s leadership to that of his predecessor Thabo Mbeki who was recalled by the ANC while in office.