ANCYL ‘hench­men’ have been un­leashed

… to de­stroy in­di­vid­ual ANC lead­ers, says Gwede

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - ZINTLE MAHLATI

ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe has la­belled the ANC Youth League as “hench­men”, who are un­leashed on in­di­vid­u­als in the ANC – in or­der to cre­ate en­e­mies that do not ex­ist.

Man­tashe said it was clear from the ANCYL’s com­ments that they had no struc­ture in place and spent their time at­tack­ing mem­bers with whom they did not agree.

“Our own youth league has de­cided to be hench­men who can be un­leashed on in­di­vid­ual com­rades. When you have a struc­ture like that, you must ap­pre­ci­ate that you al­most have no struc­ture.

“Be­cause that struc­ture is not go­ing to play its right­ful role,” said Man­tashe to loud ap­plause.

He was speak­ing at the Na­tional Union of Minework­ers’ cen­tral com­mit­tee meet­ing yes­ter­day, and said the league did not fit into the ap­proach the ANC had cho­sen to unite the al­liance and rid the party of its fac­tional cliques.

The league has a long his­tory of sup­port­ing cer­tain fac­tions within the ANC, es­pe­cially ahead of the party’s elec­tive con­fer­ences. This time it has cho­sen to back for­mer AU chair­per­son Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as its pre­ferred can­di­date to suc­ceed Ja­cob Zuma as ANC pres­i­dent.

Man­tashe listed var­i­ous in­stances where the league played a key role in tar­nish­ing the im­age of ANC lead­ers.

“Cyril Ramaphosa and Pravin Gord­han are not their (ANCYL) en­e­mies, they are not the en­e­mies of the rev­o­lu­tion.

“The youth league did that to Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Mot­lanthe and then it be­came their trade­mark to be hench­men that can be un­leashed on in­di­vid­ual cadres of the move­ment,” said Man­tashe.

He ex­plained the de­ci­sion not to re­call the pres­i­dent and re­it­er­ated ear­lier com­ments that it would have meant the death of the ANC. The de­ci­sion to re­call Zuma was dis­cussed at last year’s ANC na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee meet­ing in Novem­ber, and at the re­cent one.

ANC branches and re­gional and provin­cial struc­tures would have been spilt down the mid­dle had the de­ci­sion been taken, said Man­tashe.

He said the party had opted to fo­cus on the road to its De­cem­ber elec­tive con­fer­ence, where a strong lead­er­ship would be elected to con­vince the pub­lic that the ANC was se­ri­ous about stop­ping cor­rup­tion.

“In the North West, there would have been chaos. In the Free State, there would have been a dis­as­ter. If we had done that, ev­ery­one would have clapped for us, but the move­ment would have been torn apart. It would have made the for­ma­tion of Cope, which fol­lowed the re­moval of for­mer pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki, seem like a Sun­day pic­nic,” he said.

“We must elect a lead­er­ship in De­cem­ber that will send a mes­sage that it is not about “aloota con­tinua” (loot­ing will con­tinue). It will be about elect­ing a lead­er­ship that will send the mes­sage that we are se­ri­ous about stop­ping cor­rup­tion and loot­ing in the state,” said Man­tashe.

He was also crit­i­cal of calls for the ANC’s al­liance part­ner, the SACP, to leave the al­liance and con­test elec­tions on its own. He said that move would de­stroy both the ANC and the Com­mu­nist Party.

“Im­pa­tience within the move­ment is the rea­son why some be­lieve that a di­vorce be­tween the ANC and SACP is in our in­ter­ests.”

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