Let's talk - Malema to ANC leadership
Johannesburg - A rift between the ANC Youth League and its mother body can be resolved though 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 had, in its frustrated state, 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 follows Friday's incident 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," Malema 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 Lamona, secretary general Sindiso Magaqa, league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu and Gauteng ANC chair 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.