ANCYL in fresh bid for elu­sive rel­e­vance

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

GOSH, but the ANC Youth League has been busy lately. It’s not all fun and fried chicken with these guys. For starters, it’s Youth Month and, with that, an op­por­tu­nity to rise from the abyss of in­con­se­quen­tial­ity and strike out afresh for that elu­sive rel­e­vance.

To this end there was the league’s NEC meet­ing last week­end, af­ter which it an­nounced its can­di­date of choice to next lead the ANC, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

No sur­prises here and, as mat­ters stand, the more pes­simistic of the Ma­hogany Ridge reg­u­lars are al­ready re­fer­ring to the for­mer Mrs Zuma as the coun­try’s first prox­i­dent, which ad­mit­tedly is a bit of a tongue twister on a creme de men­the and schnapps ben­der. But more of that an­other time. Some crit­ics have pointed out that the dour Sara­fina Dlamini Zuma is more gogo than go-go and that it has been ages since the youth league en­dorsed a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date who was even vaguely youth­ful. But it’s also been a while since the league was even led by a youth.

Collen Maine, its Gup­tured pres­i­dent, has not been hav­ing a good time of it. In an at­tempt to gee up the league’s at­tempts to com­mem­o­rate the June 1976 Soweto Upris­ings, Maine posted a pic­ture of him­self on In­sta­gram, cap­tioned “Youth Month load­ing”.

He looked like a happy hippo lost in a late 1970s-type record store. He was even stand­ing in front of a Sex Pis­tols poster. Hip­ness abounds!

Among the first to weigh in with the body-sham­ing was the for­merly fat EFF com­man­der-in-chief, Julius Malema, who re­posted the snap on Twit­ter with the cap­tion, “#AmaG­root­man”, a ref­er­ence to a song by DJ Oskido.

The flood­gates of de­ri­sion opened, and there came com­ments on Maine’s breasts and queries about his bra size. (Is that cor­rect? If a chap needs sup­port for his man breasts – the term, I be­lieve, is moobs – does he not then wear a bro?)

This ad hominem abuse has un­for­tu­nately di­verted at­ten­tion from the league’s im­por­tant urg­ings about white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal, land appropriation, the pro­mo­tion of youth en­trepreneur­ship and un­em­ploy­ment. But then that’s the in­evitable outcome of start­ing a per­son­al­ity cult when you have no per­son­al­ity as such.

One cam­paign now de­railed was an at­tempt to blame im­mi­grants and refugees for sub­stance abuse among the youth. As they put it in a state­ment that, for ob­vi­ous rea­sons, was qui­etly with­drawn a few days later: “The ANCYL is greatly wor­ried by the high level of drugs and sub­stance abuse which has cap­tured young peo­ple. These drugs are mainly dis­trib­uted through­out the coun­try by for­eign­ers in ar­eas that are known to the pub­lic.

“The Youth Month should be used to pro­mote the es­tab­lish­ment of pub­lic re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tres to ac­com­mo­date fam­i­lies that can­not af­ford to send young ad­dicts to pri­vate re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tres. The youth league will use the youth month to in­ter­act with young peo­ple through­out the coun­try in their hang-out ar­eas and re­port sus­pected drug dis­trib­u­tors who must be dealt with heav­ily, and if for­eign must be de­ported to their coun­tries.” [sic]

With that xeno­pho­bic out­burst out the way, the league then called on branches to “pos­i­tively in­ter­vene in child-headed house­holds in their wards”.

Which is a pity. One can read­ily imag­ine the re­ac­tion to the league’s in­ter­ven­tions had it gone ahead with its creepy plan to hunt down for­eign dope deal­ers in “hang-out” ar­eas: “For­get the drugs, hide the lunch! It’s that dude again, the one who looks like an egg­plant.” “Sax­on­wold’s that way, Oros.”

Then again, they may not bother with such pleas­antries and just throw stones at them. For, in truth, the “hang­out” area is ide­o­log­i­cal ter­ri­tory that Maine and the league are now los­ing hand over fist, es­pe­cially in met­ro­pol­i­tan ar­eas.

Which may ex­plain why their show­case rally yes­ter­day was a dusty af­fair in Ven­ters­dorp.

This is the back­end of nowhere. Per­haps the youth there do re­gard the spec­ta­cle of old men in silly clothes ex­tolling the virtues of a sainted lead­er­ship long since laid to rest and passed unto dust as a rev­o­lu­tion­ary ex­pe­ri­ence.

Given the high un­em­ploy­ment rates in their com­mu­ni­ties, the rural folk may go for empty slo­gans like “Youth to the front! Lead­ing the charge on rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion”, but it is un­likely that this schtick will ap­peal to city youth.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.