Mathale defends nationalisation call
Polokwane - The ANC Youth League must not be condemned for demanding an equitable share in the wealth of the country, Limpopo's chair of the ANC, Cassel Mathale, said on Saturday.
"Throughout it's nearly 100 years of existence, the movement has always been guided by the objective of liberating...black people from political and economic bondage," Mathale told delegates at the province's 7th elective conference.
"The economy of this country is still dominant in the hands of the white minority."
Suspended league president Julius Malema, said to be a close ally to Mathale who will be battling against Deputy Arts and Culture Minister Joe Phaahla to retain his position, has been spearheading the call for nationalisation of the mines and land grabs.
This received a lot of criticism from the opposition parties and civil society movements representing farmers.
The government has consistently indicated that nationalisation was not government policy and that the matter was being investigated.
Mathale said after intense discussions in the last provincial general council they agreed with the youth league's stance on the issue.
"We have always believed that the mineral wealth beneath our soil is the national heritage of our people. [They] must enjoy direct benefit of all mining proceeds." Mathale said the young lions were taking initiative as part of their work by reminding the movement of its historic obligations and resolutions.
"The youth league must not be condemned or called names for speaking the language of the ANC," he said.
Malema arrived at the University of Limpopo's Turfloop campus where the conference was held, accompanied a group of provincial league members who were singing and chanting slogans critical of President Jacob Zuma, who is also president of the ANC, on Saturday morning.
They also made it known through their chanting that they supported Mathale and party deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe who was sent by the ANC to address delegates instead of Zuma.
This was reportedly out of fear that Zuma would be embarrassed through booing by delegates loyal to Mathale, who were unhappy with his decision to place some of the province's department under administration.