‘ANCYL claims untrue’

2011-07-28 12:14

A senior DA leader has refuted claims by the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) that he is a director at Naspers-owned Media24.

Wilmot James, the DA’s federal chairperson, was responding to yesterday’s statement by youth league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu which claimed he was “a director of News24 (sic)”.

City Press is owned by Media24.

“For the record, I am no longer a director at Media24. I gave up the position in 2008 when I decided to enter the political arena with the DA,” James said.

He said he also resigned from the boards of Sanlam and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra in order to avoid any conflicts of interest that would arise as a result of serving as both a company director and a political office holder.

James said the decision formally ended his relationship with those companies.

The youth league’s statement followed a City Press exposé last Sunday of its president Julius Malema’s financial dealings through a family trust.

In the statement, Shivambu claimed that “none of the (Media24) publications has ever reported anything negative about the DA, but always jumps into an opportunity to rubbish, through lies, the leadership of the ANC”.

James considered this charge baseless and said: “We are fortunate in South Africa to have a free press that rigorously oversees and reports on the activities of political parties, such as the ANC and DA, and any other politically aligned organisations.

“Our press plays a crucial role in maintaining a transparent, democratic society.”

James acknowledged the youth league’s important contribution to the political history of South Africa, pointing out leaders it produced over the years.

“It has a proud legacy which developed such leaders as Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu. It also remains a legitimate voice in our political discourse today,” James said.

“While the DA may disagree with many of the proposals that the ANCYL puts forward – just as we do with its parent organisation, the ANC – we hope that the Youth League will continue to build on this legacy by renewing its commitment to the promotion of democratic accountability, transparency and free speech – the very values that made it such a force when Nelson Mandela was its head,” James added.

Shivambu could not be reached for comment.

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