ANC disgusted by ANCYL's 'lack of respect'
Johannesburg - The African National Congress expressed disgust on Friday over comments made by the party's youth league about President Jacob Zuma.
"The ANC is disgusted by the false and inaccurate response of [the] ANCYL to an interview of President Zuma on the issue of [the] disciplinary process that is currently unfolding," ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.
Mthembu was responding to an earlier statement by the youth league after Zuma spoke at The New Age and SABC breakfast in Port Elizabeth on Friday morning.
At the breakfast, Zuma said should the disciplinary committee reject an appeal by youth league leader Julius Malema, then a new president would need to be sought.
The ANC said: "Therefore the president did not pre-empt the current disciplinary process, if anybody has tried to, it is the ANCYL with their public pronouncements of agitating against the findings."
The youth league earlier questioned whether it should in fact pursue the appeal process considering Zuma had already pronounced on it.
"President Zuma's proclamation that the ANC youth league will have to have a new president is a premature expulsion of ANCYL president [Julius Malema] even before the national disciplinary committee of appeals could listen to evidence on whether the sanction of the NDC is sound," the league said.
The ruling party said the league had also incorrectly said it had charged the youth league leadership.
"We want to re-state that the comrades that are facing disciplinary measures are not facing disciplinary measures as youth league leaders, but as members of the ANC.
"Given this fact, we expect all ANC members to abide by [the] constitutional provisions of the ANC constitution and respect the processes as prescribed," Mthembu said.
The ANC was also concerned about the public rebuke of Zuma by an ANC structure.
"This shows no respect for the leadership of the ANC. This matter could have been handled in a dignified manner as opposed to public false accusations.
"This tendency seems to be frequent when ANC-aligned structures, particularly the ANCYL, attack the leadership of the ANC in public.
"In the recent past we have noted gestures and comments that show little regard for the leadership. The tone of the ANCYL statement and the gestures underscore this lack of respect," Mthembu said.