ANCYL slams 'spiteful' reports
Johannesburg - The ANC Youth League has lashed out at "spiteful" reports by "some newspapers" that accused its leader, Julius Malema, of failing to stick to promises to make donations to several people.
"The ANC Youth League has always been engaged in many community and youth development programmes, which were funded by the resources the organisation fundraises," ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said.
Malema was criticised in the media last week after he promised to pay Miss Teen Universe Chante Jantjies R150 000, with newspapers reminding him that he still needed to meet several other financial obligations.
These included a R50 000 fine to the Sonke Gender Justice Network for his statement that President Jacob Zuma's rape accuser had a "nice time".
Also, Malema was ordered by the ANC to pay a fine of R10 000 to a youth development project. This was part of his punishment after being found guilty earlier this year of undermining Zuma.
The Star newspaper reported that the youth leader also had at two other unfulfilled promises - to buy 200 pairs of shoes for Limpopo school children, and to provide 50 wheelchairs to a school in KwaZulu-Natal.
The newspaper later reported that former Springbok rugby captain Bobby Skinstad bought shoes for the children, after he read an article that Malema had failed to keep his promise.
Shivambu said in the statement: "When we contacted the school we were supposed to donate school shoes to, the school principal indicated that some other organisation has already done so and there was no need to contribute the shoes."
He said the wheelchair payment would be finalised by the end of November.
"The ANC Youth League has paid part of the money required for the wheelchairs of Ikhwezi Lokusa School for children with disabilities and will finalise the payment before the end of November 2010."
Shivambu said that the league did keep its promise to athlete Caster Semenya for winning a gold medal in the women's 800 metres at the 2009 World Championships.
"The African National Congress Youth League has noted the spiteful reports by some newspapers that the ANC Youth League has not fulfilled the pledges it made to various causes and people," said Shivambu.
"We do not want to repeat some of the allegations carried in the newspapers, but will categorically clarify the following:
"The ANC Youth League paid Caster Semenya not only the R60 000, but R120 000 and further contributed to efforts to build her a house in Limpopo. The other two athletes, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and Khotso Mokoena also received their payments in full."
Shivambu said league was "building houses for destitute families" across the country.
"All the commitments made by the ANC Youth League will be met, because we are an honourable organisation that keeps to its word on all the commitments we make.
"It is however sad that newspapers portray a wrong picture without even checking with what the organisation has to say concerning the issues we have made commitment on."
Regarding the R10 000 Malema had to pay to a youth development fund, Shivambu first said it was an "internal issue".
"No, those are internal issues. The ANC was going to identify [a fund]."
But then Shivambu added that money had actually been paid, if one looked at how much money the ANCYL had spent on bursaries.
"On the bursary scheme, the president of the youth league contributed R20 000. There has been far more than R10 000 that has been contributed."
Shivambu would not be drawn on commenting on the money owed to Sonke, saying it was under appeal at court. The sheriff of the court visited Malema last week to make a list of his assets to be attached, should he fail to pay.