ANCYL takes exception to veterans' remarks
Johannesburg - The ANC Youth League has taken "exception" to remarks made by uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans' Association (MKMVA) about league president Julius Malema.
ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said on Thursday that it had "learnt with regret" that MKMVA had accused Malema of making "irresponsible allegations" about Zuma's relationship with the wealthy Gupta family,
"The ANCYL takes with exception the remarks made by the MKMVA regarding the president of the ANCYL," Shivambu said.
MKMVA chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe said at a press conference in Johannesburg on Thursday that Malema and "faceless ministers" had made "irresponsible allegations" about Zuma's relationship with the wealthy Gupta family to try and score "cheap political points".
"The president of the ANCYL has never referred to the Gupta family in relation to the president of the ANC at any point," said Shivambu.
He said Malema had "at all times raised issues of genuine interest" that were critical to the masses.
"There have been consistent messages raised as we move towards the local government elections that those who stand to be elected are cautioned not to dispense patronage and ensure that the priorities of the ANC are the priorities of our people.
At the press conference, Maphatsoe said the MKMVA viewed Malema's outburst on the Gupta issue as "irresponsible rambling meant to score cheap points against President Zuma at the expense of the ANC".
"We are singling him out because of the statement he made in the media.
"We are unhappy with the way he issued the statement."
Malema, who turned 30 today (Thursday), had said that "those in power" should not abuse their office to benefit their friends and immediate family.
He was speaking at the launch of the ANC's 2011 election manifesto at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg at the weekend.
"We cannot sit back while families enrich themselves in the name of freedom," Malema said.
His comments came after weekend newspaper reports about lucrative business deals entered into by President Jacob Zuma's son Duduzane and the Gupta family.
The association's spokesperson, Ike Moroe, also commented on Malema's behaviour.
"He is not a troublemaker," Moroe said. "He talks on his feet and in the process he doesn't think properly."