Icy reception for ANC at SACP congress

2009-12-10 12:58

A ROW between ANC Youth League boss Julius Malema and ANC secretary

general Gwede Mantashe has cast a shadow over proceedings on the first day of

the special SA Communist Party congress in Polokwane.


This, after a delegation that included ANC national executive

committee members Tokyo Sexwale, Tony Yengeni, Billy Masetlha, Sicelo Shiceka

and Malema was booed and jeered by SACP delegates when they were introduced at

the week-long congress.


The booing started when Masetlha, who recently bemoaned what he

described as the takeover of the ANC by communists, stood up to greet the

delegates.

When he walked into the conference hall at the University of Limpopo,

the delegates started singing “Asiyifun’ i-agenda yamaCapitalists” (we don’t

want a capitalist agenda).


The cold reception of the leadership of the ANC, which is an ally

of the SACP, incensed Malema so much that he raised his hand, demanding to be

allowed to address the conference.

The ANCYL leader , who was not scheduled to

speak, was ignored.


At some stage, when Malema’s face was beamed onto the giant screen

mounted on the wall facing the delegates, they started singing a song, “Thina

ngalo Cronin, sobulal’ igovu lenja” (We’ll kill even a bulldog over Jeremy

Cronin).

Malema and Cronin recently had a public spat over the nationalisation

of mines.


When the conference adjourned for lunch, Malema bolted to the stage

and confronted Mantashe about the incident.


“I was asking for a platform to engage as a guest. I was to speak

not on the political report but on the reception (the ANC got). We were insulted

in front of the country,” he protested.


Mantashe told Malema: “You (Julius) are asking for something

wrongly.” Mantashe also told Malema that he (Mantashe) was not at the congress

as the leader of the ANC, but in his capacity as the SACP national chairperson.

By now, Yengeni and Masetlha had joined Malema in the protest.


This prompted Malema to turn to Masetlha and ask: “Where is Tokyo?

We are leaderless. The SG (secretary-general) has just denounced us. He told us

that he is not here on behalf of the ANC. This delegation is leaderless,” he

said.


ANC national chair Baleka Mbete and Thandi Modise, who is

Mantashe’s deputy, were supposed to lead the ANC delegation but neither of them

showed up.


Asked by City Press whether Malema would be allowed to speak at the

closed session this afternoon, Mantashe said: “All delegates, whether they have

voting rights or not, have a right to speak. He would speak like any other

delegate.”


Asked about Malema’s concerns that the embarrassing incident

happened in the presence of the media, Mantashe said: “We are not in a congress

of the media. We are in the congress of the Communist Party. Anybody who wants a

congress of the media must go to the congress of the media."


Malema ally and businessman Sello Rasethaba told City Press that

SMSes and Facebook messages were circulating about the incident.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.