ANC missed opportunity to mould a young cadre...

2012-04-17 08:03

Instead of educating Floyd Shivambu after he wrote an article criticising ANC appeals chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa, the party insulted him, the ANC Youth League said yesterday.

“The ANC once again missed an opportunity to educate and mould a comrade if he indeed was wrong, and chose to throw insults and attack him as an individual,” the league said.

“As a young cadre of the ANC, what is he going to benefit from insults by adults in the ANC?” it asked.

In an article published in Sunday Times, Shivambu questioned Ramaphosa’s motives for punishing league president Julius Malema.

A suspension imposed on Malema was increased to expulsion when it was referred back to the ANC national disciplinary committee by the party’s national disciplinary committee of appeals, chaired by Ramaphosa.

Malema was expelled from the ANC in November for sowing division in the party and for bringing it into disrepute.

Yesterday, the ANC said the article by league spokesperson Shivambu, who also faces suspension, was “mischievous, disingenuous and smacks of ill-discipline”.

“The African National Congress is appalled at the crude, uncouth, disrespectful and insulting attack,” ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said.

However, the league said it was concerned that issues “find resonance in the healthy interactions between structures of the movement and should in no way seek to go blow-by-blow on issues that are raised”.

“The struggle we are in is a struggle for political and total freedom.”

In the Sunday Times article, Shivambu accused Ramaphosa of sacrificing his principles.

“We initially did not know what the real reasons why Cyril Ramaphosa could degenerate to that level or language and derision of principles were, but certain facts and recent developments shed the light on what could be the basis of ignoring principles,” he wrote.

“The fact that a faction in the ANC has promised him the position of deputy president, which he so dearly wanted in 1994, could be one of the reasons why he took such a stance.”

Mthembu, though, said Ramaphosa had not discussed being on a list of any ANC faction. “The branches of the ANC have not started to discuss nominations and therefore there is no truth that comrade Cyril is appearing on any list. This exists in the warped imagination of the likes of Floyd.”

Mthembu said processes of the ANC’s national disciplinary committee and the national disciplinary committee of appeals were determined by the party’s constitution.

“It is therefore disingenuous to blame an individual for the work processed by a team,” he said. “This is tantamount to saying other members of the team are dwarfs; useless, sheepish followers who do not apply their minds.”

Mthembu said Shivambu had a history of lacking discipline. “This has come with a cost in some of our progressive structures at tertiary level. It is not surprising that he left the Young Communist League on the verge of being charged.”

Shivambu has been suspended from the ANC for three years for sowing division and bringing the party into disrepute by swearing at a journalist and issuing a statement calling for a regime change in neighbouring Botswana. He has appealed the suspension.

In his article, he wrote: “Like all borrowed robes, those given to Cyril Ramaphosa are beginning to wane down through his inconsistent application of principle....

“If comrade Cyril was really the man of the Constitution who presided over a transition that everybody in the world celebrates today, how did he fail to manage what is vividly an injustice against the leadership of the ANC Youth League?” he asked.

Mthembu said the phrase “borrowed robes” undermined Ramaphosa’s capabilities. “It is saddening that because of petty jealousies from the likes of Floyd, the successes that a number of blacks have achieved in the mainstream of the economy under very trying circumstances are relegated to insignificance.

“The advice we can offer to the likes of Floyd is that ANC members and the public cannot be fooled by their statements,” Mthembu said.

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