We have a duty to protect dignity, image of ANC: ANC Youth League

Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma

Johannesburg — Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa should stop criticising the ANC in public, the ANCYL says.

“People must stop saying negative things about the organisation on public platforms that creates a perception that becomes true,” ANCYL secretary general Njabulo Nzuza told News24 on Tuesday.

He said the league would ask ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe to intervene.

Ramaphosa said the “rot has set in” and called for corruption to be rooted out.

Allegations of families and people unduly influencing government appointments and contracts should be “of great concern” to the ANC, he said at a memorial for former SACP leader Chris Hani in the Eastern Cape on Sunday, Fin24 reported. His comments were seen as the start of his bid to succeed President Jacob Zuma at the ANC’s elective conference in December.

Nzuza said Ramaphosa’s claims that party members were being bought were untrue. The league had criticised former finance minister Pravin Gordhan for making similar remarks.

“We have a duty to protect the dignity and image of the ANC, yet you have senior leaders saying there is corruption.”

“The thought process to us is we have to go out there and correct the mistake in the public domain because the statement was made in the public domain,” Nzuza said.

The ANCYL dismissed the SACP’s claims about an assassination attempt on its second deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila as attention seeking.

“Some people use tactics to get themselves relevant. I can wake up one morning and say because I have been vocal on certain issues there is a threat on my life.”

The SACP claimed there was a gunman at the commemoration of the 24th anniversary of Hani’s murder, which was held at the Thomas Nkobi cemetery on the East Rand, on April 10.

A figure holding what the SACP believed was a gun appears in a News24 video of the event, at which Mapaila was booed. Mapaila aborted his speech because of the heavy downpour that began as he took to the stage.

The only drama Nzuza saw was the rain.

“If people say they were assassinated by getting wet as a result of the rain, I can agree with them to say the rain hit so hard that maybe they felt threatened,” Nzuza said.

The SACP had said it would report the matter to police.

Tensions between the ANC and SACP had been mounting since the party called on President Zuma to step down after he changed his executive on March 30, without consulting the alliance partners and the ANC’s top six.

Nzuza declined to express an opinion about the ideal candidate to take over from Zuma. He said the league would have to work through its differences of opinion about a candidate.

ANCYL president Collen Maine had previously said their choice of candidate would shock the country, suggesting it would not be Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Nzuza said the next ANC leader should be a woman.

The ANC was experiencing ructions because it was an elective conference year. He believed party members would reach agreement and back whoever emerged victorious in December.

“I can guarantee you there will be no breakaways,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ANC Youth League in KwaZulu-Natal said it was celebrating Freedom Day “cautiously”,  because the country was still not “economically free”.

The league’s provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo said yesterday that as much as their “forefathers” brought political freedom in the country, the majority of the people are still living in poverty. “The country will be finally free when everyone, including blacks, participates in the economy of the country. Twenty-three years later, the minority still controls the economy,” he said.

South Africans voted democratically for the first time on April 27, 1994.

The ANC’s policy on radical economic transformation will free everyone in South Africa, Sabelo believes.

“While the rest of the country celebrates Freedom Day, some of the indigenous people of this country still live in poverty.  They might be democratically free, but they cannot eat votes,” he said.

The league is calling for speedy economic transformation to address the inequalities of the past, he said.

Without education, economic freedom cannot be achieved.

“Government must provide free education so that the majority, especially the youth will be educated and be able to economically free themselves,” he said.

The league remains resolute that free education must be speedily provided to the youth.

— Sapa

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