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Tuesday, August 28, 2012
ANC Youth League not 'friends' with Malema gang
ANC Youth League not 'friends' with Malema gang
27 AUG 2012 17:33 - NICKOLAUS BAUER
The ANC Youth League has denied any connection to the Friends of the Youth League formation and its actions at Lonmin platinum mine.
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"The Friends of the Youth League are not our friends," deputy league president Ronald Lamola told reporters at Luthuli house following the youth body's latest national executive committee (NEC) meeting.
"We, as the the league, are not connected to them in any way and cannot be held accountable for their actions," Lamola said.
Last week Malema transformed a memorial held for the 34 miners shot dead at the hands of police on August 16 into a political rally decrying government's role in the tragedy.
Malema claimed the service had been paid for by the Friends of the Youth League and used the platform at the service to call for President Jacob Zuma's resignation.
His utterances resulted in several government ministers fleeing the memorial after workers at the mine became boisterous and began shouting anti-government slogans.
This followed his laying of murder charges against the government and police earlier in the week in connection with the deaths at the mine.
The Friends of the Youth League was formed shortly after Malema's expulsion from the ruling party was ratified in late April after being found guilty in November last year of sowing divisions within the ANC.
It is still unclear under what ambit the new formation is operating and to what end they were originally formed.
A team of lawyers
Malema claims the Friends of the Youth League have assembled a team of lawyers, who are currently fighting for the release of over 200 arrested miners awaiting trial on charges of public violence, following the shooting.
"If there was an attempt by anyone at Marikana – be it Malema or someone else – to undermine the unity of the ANC, then the youth league condemns such behaviour," league NEC member Abner Mosase said.
The youth league claims Malema is and has been acting in his personal capacity since his expulsion.
"As he speaks, he speaks for himself. We will listen to what he's saying in as much as we would listen to any individual South African's views," league spokesperson Khusela Sangoni Khawe explained.
But, even though the league is distancing itself from what is essentially a Malema-run formation, the young lions are still calling for him to be reinstated in the ruling party and recognise him as the body's true president.
"We believe he is coming back and we will be taking up his case at the Mangaung elective conference," Lamola said.
Malema and the youth league have claimed the controversial leader will be readmitted to the ANC after delegates at the Mangaung elective conference in December vote to have his disciplinary charges set aside.
No way to return
However, it is unclear if the ANC's constitution will allow for such a move and secretary general Gwede Mantashe has previously claimed there is no way for Malema to return.
The ANC Youth League also used the press conference to call for wide scale leadership changes in the ruling party.
"We have resolved that the current leadership of the ANC must change so we can move forward," Lamola said.
The league said it would reveal its preferred candidates for ANC leaders when nominations open in October.
MAIL & GUARDIAN
Comments by Sonny
Is this what the rudderless Malema is doing to stir 'SHIT' in South Africa!
Madonsela urges caution before turning to mass action
27 AUG 2012 17:15 - DEVEREAUX MORKEL
Public protector Thuli Madonsela has some advice for the ANC Youth League leaders who allegedly threatened to make Cape Town ungovernable.
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"Only use mass action as a last resort," she said in Johannesburg.
"Under apartheid, we had to render the state ungovernable because it was a state that wasn't created for us and didn't operate to support us. We now have a state that has built in it a lot of accountability mechanisms."
The youth league and its allies protested in Cape Town on Monday against the proposed closure of 27 schools in the province. It also accused the province of not providing services to poorer communities.
Speaking to reporters, Madonsela said that in a constitutional democracy, no one should make any province or city ungovernable.
A lot of the complaints were around maladministration or socio-economic rights, so people who were unhappy could choose to approach either the public protector or the South African Human Rights Commission, she said.
Democracy a dialogue
Madonsela called on everyone to speak to each other, and said democracy was a dialogue.
"It is your right to go for mass action. Like all rights, you have to use some of them when it is absolutely necessary to use them," Madonsela said.
"My appeal to the nation as a whole, ANC Youth League included, let's use constitutional structures to engage in dialogues with organs of state."
She said she realised that people resorted to mass action to demonstrate peacefully, but said they should be aware that there were other people who joined in who could have ulterior motives.
"Often, people who get into these marches are thugs that have their own agendas," she said.
"And once they are in, you can't really predict what's going to happen. If there are other channels of engagement, rather do not embark on mass action. It doesn't matter who you are."
She said people should rather try to facilitate constructive talks between those in charge.
At Monday's protest, the league insisted on Premier Helen Zille being present to accept its memorandum.
However, she said earlier that she would not do so unless the youth league retracted its threat to make the city "ungovernable".
League spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy responded by saying: "We will never apologise to the madam, to Zille. Days of apartheid are over." – Sapa
MAIL & GUARDIAN
Comments By Sonny
Has Public protector Thuli Madonsela lost her sting?
IS THIS HOW THE ANCYL THREATENING PEACE IN THE WESTERN CAPE?
ANCYL call on 'madam' Zille to receive memorandum
27 AUG 2012 19:16 - GLYNNIS UNDERHILL
For the second month in a row, the ANCYL has marched on Premier Helen Zille's offices and again she did not come out to accept their memorandum.
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She has stated categorically that she would not accept the memorandum from the league unless it withdrew its alleged threats to "make the city ungovernable".
ANC Youth League spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy said they would not apologise. "We will never apologise to the madam, to Zille. The days of apartheid are over. They want to charge us, but we'll charge Helen Zille for genocide in the Western Cape."
Nobody was really expecting Zille to appear on the front steps of the provincial government offices on Monday.
"We want Zille. We want the madam," the crowd chanted.
Alan Winde, Western Cape minister of finance, economic development and tourism was given a poor reception when he stepped out of the building in her place.
The chairperson of the youth league in the Dullah Omar region, Khaya Yozi, said he believed Zille was inside the building as the crowd gathered outside to vent its frustration at the alleged lack of service delivery.
"We also called Zille to try and talk to her before the march, but she never calls us back," said Yozi.
Yozi said the youth league would now gather to decide whether it would stage regular "economic freedom" marches to the city.
There now appears to be a political stand-off. Mayor Patricia De Lille and Zille have laid charges against the youth league after its march last month on the provincial offices and a claim in the memorandum handed in to her offices suggested that they would "make the city ungovernable".
This week Zille said the investigation into the charges they laid against the ANC Youth League had only just begun. "The investigation is still in its infacy so the premier is awaiting feedback and updates from the police as their work progresses," said Zille's spokesperson, Zac Mbhele.
At today's march, the league kept to its word that it would apply for the necessary permission and staged a peaceful march on the city route from Keizergracht Street to the Wale Street offices.
But not everybody was happy with the marchers. De Lille said the march had permission to start by 11am, but it only got underway an hour later. There was also concern that some of the marchers had begun to gather from Salt River Station, instead of Keizergracht Street, where permission had been granted to begin the march.
The police contingent in and around the city was large, and many of the police were wearing riot gear, which they told the Mail & Guardian had been purchased for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
Although the league declared Monday a public holiday, and said it was expecting around 14 000 people to join in, the anticipated numbers did not pitch for the march.
Some tourists mingled with the disciplined crowd in the city, taking photographs of the marchers, while workers peered down from buildings around the city.
Many shops were boarded up for the march, in anticipation of trouble, but the crowd dispersed peacefully.
The league has demanded that land owned by private individuals and companies be made available to house the Western Cape's poor.
This was the first of nine demands contained in a memorandum delivered to the Western Cape government.
"There are white people who don't even live in South Africa. They live overseas. Yet, they own land in our country. Without land we can't fight for the economy we want," Yozi said , as he read the memorandum over a loudspeaker.
Yozi singled out Constantia and the Rondebosch Common as land that could be given to the province's poor. More than 1 000 protesters, most of them affiliated to the local youth league, the provincial ANC, the Young Communist League, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the ANC Women's League assembled outside the Western Cape legislature.
Zille could not be reached for comment. – additional reporting by Sapa
MAIL & GUARDIAN
COMMENTS BY SONNY
How long can this "Shaken yet fragile Democracy" in South Africa last?
Does Mandela bear the key?