Lets talk: Malema to ANC leadership

By Drum Digital
27 February 2012

A rift between the ANC Youth League and its mother body can be resolved through a mere meeting, suspended league president Julius Malema suggested on Sunday.

"The problems... can be resolved by one thing, a meeting. We ask for a meeting which can resolve all the problems. We do not ask for any favours," Malema told a crowd attending the league's centenary mini-rally in Kliptown, Soweto.

Malema said this was all the league in its frustrated state had been asking for, but the ANC leadership "never responded positively".

"We will continue writing to them," he said.

"What makes a good leader is the ability to listen. Even if we are mad, the leadership must listen to our madness."

He cautioned the youth to exercise restraint amidst these "problems".

This followed an incident on Friday, where alleged ANCYL members heckled and threw chairs during President Jacob Zuma's ANC centenary address in Cape Town.

"That conduct is incorrect. No matter how frustrated you are... shouting and howling while the president of the ANC speaks is incorrect," said Malema.

As long as Zuma was still in office, he must be given the necessary respect, he said.

Malema conceded to Zuma's recent comments that no one was above the African National Congress.

"Discipline in the ANC means the ability to accept that the organisation is above you, even when you are treated unfairly... even when there are frustrations," he said.

Malema, who was earlier introduced as a chief commander of economic freedom, was joined on stage by other youth league leaders - including his deputy Ronald Lamola, secretary general Sindiso Magaqa, league spokesman Floyd Shivambu and Gauteng ANC chairman Lebohang Maile.

Malema, Shivambu, Magaqa, Lamola, and two other officials were found guilty in November of bringing the ANC into disrepute and of sowing division in the party.

They are awaiting the outcome of arguments in mitigation and aggravation of their suspensions, which range from 18-months to five years.

Malema took a swipe at the disbanded youth league branch in KwaZulu-Natal for trying to teach the league's leadership about discipline.

The branch was the first to talk about succession after the motherbody had warned against such.

"Today they think they can teach us about discipline? They are the ones defying their disbandment by the NEC [national executive committee] but they want us to conform to disciplinary processes, which were unfair," said Malema.

"Treat us the same. Ill-discipline is ill-discipline and it must be attended to thoroughly without fear or favour."

On Sunday, the ANCYL leadership in KwaZulu-Natal league urged the mother-body to act swiftly to curb the destabilisation of the league by Malema.

Provincial deputy secretary Sboniso Duma said upholding the guilty verdict against Malema and four his executive would mean an end to "mobster" leadership.

Malema reiterated concerns about inconsistency in the ANC with regard to disciplinary processes.

He said the league was praised and referred to as "revolutionaries" when they speak in favour of leaders but "ill-disciplined" when it speaks against leaders.

"We cannot have the ANC that is scared of different views, robust debate and open debate. The ANC has always tolerated different views."

Malema, a strong proponent for the nationalisation of the mines, said the ANC was what it was today because of the youth league.

He said the league was not scared and would continue fighting for economic freedom.

"When we say our people don't have water, we don't criticise the minister of water affairs, we are criticising ourselves, saying we are not doing enough."

Malema called on the youth to stand up and demand jobs promised to them by government.

He said the ruling party had preached about jobs during elections but had not delivered.

"Where are those jobs? We must ask that question without fear or favour because we are asking to our leadership. When we asking where our jobs, not asking for leadership to me removed."

He said the time would come for leadership to be removed.

"It will be removed without fear or favour."

At its leadership conference in June, the league said it would support Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula for the post of ANC secretary-general in Mangaung in December. They also want to replace Zuma with deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

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