Modise lends weight to ANCYL demands

2012-04-11 14:43

ANC Deputy Secretary-General Thandi Modise’s Solomon Mahlangu lecture has lent weight to ANC Youth League demands.

Modise, who was supported by ANC national organiser and Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula as well as ANC North West provincial secretary Kabelo Mataboge in Sarafina, Potchefstroom, last night encouraged the youth to fight more for economic freedom and to be part of the ANC’s top leadership structures.

These two issues have been at the heart of the ANC Youth League’s campaign for a leadership change at the party’s congress in Mangaung in December.

Modise said it was commendable that South Africa has achieved political and social freedom, “but I’m sure Solomon would not have said we’ve achieved those two, that’s enough. No.”

Lack of economic freedom was denying citizens the right to enjoy the full benefits of democracy, said Modise. “We know that we can stay wherever we want, but in reality we can’t. We’ll continue to stay in Ikageng (a township in Potchefstroom), we’ll continue to stay in Huhudi (a township in Vryburg).

“Only a few among us will be able to move to the suburbs. The issue of economic freedom is not an issue we should be afraid to say we are yet to attain.”

Both Modise and Mbalula slammed corruption that’s affecting the ANC and government as well as factionalism driven by the quest to occupy top positions.

Though linked to a group in the ANC that plans to replace party president Jacob Zuma with his deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, come December, Modise denied she was part of any faction.

“Even when I say I don’t belong to a faction I should be wary of elevating a particular faction because if I do that I’ll be strengthening that faction. Comrades we must realise that we are sick. Factions are an illness.”

The lecture was organised and dominated by members of a faction opposed to North West provincial chairperson Supra Mahumapelo, said to be a Zuma second term supporter. One provincial executive committee member even called the lecture “a meeting of the rebellious”.

But Modise stood firm against factionalism in her lecture.

“We want to fight about organisational issues because if we fight as comrades, we will reconcile as comrades. Let’s take care of ourselves and the ANC so that even if we meet Solomon we will not be afraid to face him and say this was my task and I have fulfilled it.

“Moses Kotane (the late ANC treasurer-general and SACP leader), will he be proud of the ANC? I don’t think so”.

Modise urged young people to live according to the values of Mahlangu: selflessness and sacrifice for the benefit of the country.

“People like Solomon will remain dear because they died for an organisation. Solomon did not come from a rich family. He joined the MK (the ANC’s former military wing, uMkhonto we Sizwe) knowing that he would give his life. He also knew, like so many young people of his generation that he could expect nothing for himself, other than the freedom of all the people of our country.”

“When we joined MK there were no beds, most of the time there was no roof. Even when we ate worms we knew why we were doing it. This Solomon never moaned about the hardships. He knew why he was there.”

Mataboge said the provincial ANC chose Modise to address the lecture because she was “much closer to the roots of this organisation”. Modise was a fellow MK member with Mahlangu. Mataboge also said choosing Modise was meant to “bring leadership to the people.

“There’s been talk that Thandi Modise is leaving (the province as premier). We wanted to reaffirm the leadership of Comrade Thandi, but also to bring the deputy secretary-general to the people.”

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