Any thoughts that the African National Congress Youth League had of controversial South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Group Executive for corporate affairs Hlaudi Motsoeneng becoming a minister were scotched on Friday, less than 24 hours after the organisation endorsed him.

The ANC’s provincial chairman Sihle Zikalala, speaking at a memorial service to the recently deceased Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the Durban City Hall on Friday, made it quite clear that Hlaudi Motsoeneng could not simply jump into the organisation at the whim of the youth league and take up a leadership position.

Zikalala noted that to become a member of any regional executive committee the party’s rules were quite clear that a person had to be a member of the party in good standing for at least five years.

To become a member of the provincial executive committee, a membership of seven years was required and to be considered part of the party’s national executive a person had to be a member of the party for at least 10 years.

“The SABC is not part of the structures of the ANC,” said Zikalala.

On Thursday, Motsoeneng told 400 ANC Youth League members at an “economic freedom” lecture that he could resolve the country’s woes within six months.

The youth league’s provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo, also speaking at the Thursday lecture said that Motsoeneng was minister material because he had a clear programme to uplift black people.

However, whatever wishes the youth league had, were not going to pass muster as Zikalala made clear.

“We are going to debate the with the youth league,” said Zikalala.

Carrying on with the theme that party members other than the youth league had to stick by the rules, Zikalal said he believed that the attempt to unseat President Jacob Zuma at a recent National Executive Committee meeting last weekend was nothing short of unconstitutional.

He said that members needed to abide by the ANC’s constitution.

“President Jacob Zuma has been elected by the branches of the ANC.”

Zikalala, who is often viewed as a strong Zuma supporter, said that the only place for Zuma to be unseated was at the party’s national electoral conference, expected to be held next year.

“The branches must understand that they are the electoral college of the ANC.”

Referring to Castro, he praised the Cuban leader’s role in liberating South Africa, Angola and Namibia. In that regard, he said the best way to remember Castro was for African countries to make a concerted effort to liberate Western Sahara from occupation by Morocco.

“The [African Union] AU should not continue to accept membership of Morocco as long as it occupies Western Sahara,” he said.