Fight for top post splits young communists

2010-12-10 10:45

The fight for a top post in the Young Communist League split the party between supporters of national secretary Buti Manamela and his deputy Khaye Nkwanyana on the first day of the organisation’s elective conference, held in Mafikeng in the North West.

The five-day conference started yesterday.

Manamela and Nkwanyana are the two candidates for the post of national secretary, which is currently held by Manamela.

Yesterday, supporters of the two YCL leaders confronted each other, with those supporting Nkwanyana singing songs backing him while Manamela’s group chanted anti-Nkwanyana slogans.

“Asiyifuni i-agenda kaManamela.

Asiyifuni i-agenda yasephalamende.

Iyabulala inhlangano (we don’t want Manamela’s agenda. We don’t want Parliament’s agenda.

It is killing the organisation),” Nkwanyana’s backers sang.

Manamela supporters would hear none of it, drowning them out by vociferously chanting: “Buti, Buti, Buti.”

The proceedings had to be delayed to allow the opposing groups to settle down.Outgoing YCL chairperson David Masondo had a torrid time trying to contain the rowdy delegates.

When he tried to speak the Gauteng delegates interrupted him and started a song saying Manamela would remain in charge of the Young Reds.

Masondo implored the delegates in vain to keep quiet.

Delegates would just respond to his pleas by more singing of pro-Manamela songs.

Masondo burst into the modified version of the “dubula” liberation song. But delegates did not take kindly to the song, making change gestures.

They wanted the song changed because it had become synonymous with ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.

The delegates’ behaviour prompted the intervention by Manamela: “Comrades let’s stop singing songs about individuals.

Let’s stop singing derogatory songs. This congress should never turn into a war zone,” he said.Then the proceedings went on smoothly.

A tiny group booed Masondo as he was delivering his last speech as YCL chairperson.

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