Buti Kgwaredi Manamela

National secretary: Young Communist League of South Africa

Manamela's political star continues to shine, both in the politics of his party, the South African Communist Party (SACP), and in the National Assembly, where he serves as an ANC member of Parliament. Limpopo-born Manamela has led the Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) since its launch in 2003. Proving his popularity, the 31-year-old was re-elected to the position of national secretary for a third term in December, a move political analysts see as a negative sign for democratic politics within the Communist Party, but definitely positive for the young politician's confidence. He should be confident. Effectively, the position makes him head of the organisation. In addition he serves on the politburo of the SACP, the party's highest decision-making body. Though numerically smaller than its ANC counterpart, the ANC Youth League (ANCYL), the league's power should not be underestimated. It carries more weight than its numbers might suggest, as its members are also members of the ANC and the South African Students Congress, another ally of the ANCYL. In addition to party politics, Manamela is a member of the ANC's strategy committee in Parliament, which is responsible for the strategic planning of the ruling party's work in the National Assembly. He was also appointed a whip of Parliament's committee on labour earlier this year. On Nelson Mandela Day 2010 Manamela was a "Volunteer in Chief�, chairing the special projects committee that oversaw the former president's birthday celebrations. One of the youngest active advocates of socialism, a movement that does not fare well in political circles, he insists that he would rather live the "socialism dream� than be trapped in the "capitalism nightmare�. When he addresses issues that affect young people, most of them controversial, Manamela handles them with characteristic maturity and dignity, something generally missing from today's youth politics.�Mmanaledi Mataboge

Twitter: @ButiManamela