ANC to ‘find appropriate approach’, urges restraint

2010-04-07 12:36

The ANC has called for restraint from its members in the wake of

the murder of AWB leader Eugene Terre’Blanche, urging them to avoid songs which

polarise society.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe told reporters at Luthuli

House in Johannesburg on Wednesday: “Our appeal to our members is informed by

the fact that we have a responsibility of ensuring that they are not used as a

scapegoat for other agendas.”

Mantashe confirmed that this call was made to all structures of the

ANC including its youth league. He confirmed that he spoke to the league’s

president, Julius Malema on Tuesday regarding the song.

However Mantashe added that this did not amount to a ban on the

song.

Rather, the party’s top brass will at its next meeting, from May 14

to 16, decide on “an appropriate political approach” in dealing with questions

raised about the song.

Mantashe said the song was used to “capture the mood and the

moment”.

“Now the debate that must take place in the ANC... is how do we use

the songs to capture the mood and the moment,” Mantashe said.

Mantashe said it was “the considered view” of its top six officials

who met on Tuesday that the restraint it is calling for would “help our society

see through the disguised attempts by the right wing groups” who sought to

reverse the progress made in transformation since 1994.

“The restraint will remove excuses...to whip up racial hatred,” he

said.

On the death of Terre’Blanche, Mantashe said the ANC found it “very

unfortunate” that the media and political commentators have politicised a

criminal matter.

“Equally important is the lack of reporting and equal sensation

around the shooting and killing of a black hunter by a farmer who is currently

out on bail of R5 000.

“We are also dismayed by the little coverage of the brutal assault

of seven farm workers by a farmer in the North West.”

Mantashe brushed aside questions about what the consequences would

be should any of the ANC members fail to heed the call for restraint.

He said the ANC structures were “autonomous but integral” and their

relationship was not that of “master and servant”.

He said the ANC would explain the importance of that restraint and

it would “manage” differences which emanated from the structures on the

matter.

Once the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and its National

Working Committee (NWC) discussed the matter, the debate would then filter down

to the structures.

“When there is buy in (from the structure), it is easy to manage

that decision,” Mantashe said.



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