Mantashe decries ill discipline

2012-12-17 00:00

THE ANC not only took disciplinary steps against ANC Youth League leaders, but also suspended and expelled 156 other members.

They were mostly public representatives, including MPs, for various transgressions such as defying ANC structures.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, giving his report to the conference, said an overwhelming number of disciplinary cases that came before the national disciplinary committee of appeal involved public representatives in cases where there was a “general decline in terms of organisational discipline”.

Mantashe decried the behaviour of ANC members in Potchefstroom who “handed over” the mayoral seat to a Democratic Alliance member because of differences between ANC councillors and the ANC mayor.

He singled out the ANCYL, North West and Limpopo ANC members for displaying ill-discipline in a “rude and disrespectful” manner.

The province with the highest number of suspended or expelled members was the Eastern Cape with 114, most of whom were sanctioned for taking part in “activities of another organisation opposed to the ANC”.

Mantashe decried the rowdy and unruly behaviour of the youth league at the 2008 conference that elected Julius Malema.

While the relationship between the ANCYL and its mother body had started very well after the Polokwane conference, it quickly deteriorated to the point that the league was seen as having taken an oppositionist stance, said Mantashe.

“Emboldened by the space given to it to make remarks on almost everything, the youth league started a trend of pre-empting the ANC on every announcement, including decisions of structures in which they participate as ex-officio members.

“This was beginning to undermine the ANC as it was seen to be tailing its youth league,” said Mantashe, citing the league’s premature pronouncement that former president Thabo Mbeki would be recalled.

The league had turned nastier with young members publicly attacking ANC leaders and hurling insults at individual ANC leaders, said Mantashe.

Attempts by the ANC to correct the situation, said Mantashe, did not work as “this behaviour continued, escalated and eventually led to the charges being laid against [Malema]”.

He called on the league and other party members to distinguish between militancy and anarchy.

Mantashe urged party members throughout to attend to “acrimonious” relations that had spilled over to other provinces.

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