Women’s League launch put on ice

IMBOKODO: Members of the Wits ANCWL sing outside the Great Hall during their pre-launch last month. The league's official launch has been postponed die to complications at its regional office

THE launch of the ANC Women’s League Wits branch has hit a brick wall.
A message was posted on its Facebook group on September 1, a day before their initial September 2 launch date. The message read: “Comrades, it is rather unfortunate that we will be unable to actually continue with our launch as planned”.

The branch was to become the first student branch of the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) to be established at a university.
Itumeleng Mafatshe, convener of the Women’s League Wits task team, says the league’s regional office is insisting all the members of the Wits Women’s League must belong to the same ANC branch.
“To be a member of the ANC Women’s League, one needs to be a member of the ANC. We have members who live in different areas since they are students and belong to different ANC branches,” Mafatshe says.
Initially the regional office had said this would not be an issue but Mafatshe says they were informed recently their launch would not be possible until their members are centralised.
She says the challenge is that Wits does not have an ANC branch, just the Youth League branch.
“With the youth league, one doesn’t need to be a member of the ANC, it’s not mandatory.”
Mafatshe says the women’s league regional office will speak to the ANCWL national president Angie Motshekga, who is also basic education minister, and inform her of the challenges the Wits branch is facing, as this is an initiative which has never been done before.
“The launch will still go ahead, ideally this year,” Mafatshe says.
She says the task team will continue to manage the Wits branch until the official launch and then a formal executive will be selected after the launch.
She also says Dineo Sithole, a member of the task team, is working on a proposal for the Wits women’s league to become a club or society by O-Week next year.
“We don’t want to rush things because we know the bureaucracy at Wits can stifle our programme. We first need to get our house in order,” Mafatshe says.
The league’s task team is planning more events for the Wits members, which include a panel discussion with Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane and    Motshekga.