ANC Youth League, Cronin bury the hatchet

2009-11-26 09:56

THE ANC Youth League and the South African Communist Party (SACP)

deputy general secretary, Jeremy Cronin, have buried the hatchet after their

spat over the nationalisation of mines.

“We are particularly relieved that Comrade Cronin engages with the

Youth League’s call for nationalisation after re-reading the conceptual

framework we released in July 2009,” the league said in a statement yesterday.

This is after Cronin published a piece explaining his position and apologising

for aspects of the publication that started the furore.

“The youth league holds Comrade Jeremy Cronin in high regard and

appreciates the fact that he is one of the best intellectuals produced by the

revolutionary movement,” it said.

The league and the SACP failed to see eye-to-eye after Cronin

published an analysis of the issues surrounding mine nationalisation.

In his analysis, he criticised the ANCYL president Julius Malema

and the league’s call for nationalisation, saying: “Comrade Malema hasn’t always

helped his case with off-the-wall sound-bytes.

“The impression of a policy being made on the hoof,

individualistically, is reinforced by the fact that we are yet to see any

serious attempt at a collective policy document on this matter from the


Malema responded by describing the analysis as “openly

reactionary”, adding “I do not need the permission of white political messiahs

to think”.

Malema further described the analysis as “sad” that Cronin “decided

to isolate me” from a league resolution in which it outlined its stance on

nationalisation: “... the State should be custodian of the people in its

ownership, extraction, production and trade of mineral wealth beneath the soil,

monopoly industries and banks”.

On mineral beneficiation Malema said Cronin reduced his league’s

call for this to an “obsession with bling”.

Cronin then wrote another piece, clarifying his position and

showing that it was not vastly different from that of the league.

He apologised for suggesting “more in jest than seriously” that

Malema thought of beneficiation largely in terms of bling. “It is here that I

made my own misstep. I was trying to introduce a touch of polemical spice into

what can sometimes be a dry topic.

“It was a silly comment and I apologise. I had not realised that

Malema had such a delicate skin.”

The league accepted his apology, saying he “has risen above narrow

squabbles and accepts on areas he erred”.  “Comrade Jeremy’s latest intervention

proves that the debate on nationalisation is a complex question.”

The league would “be engaging with all progressive forces to

consolidate the most coherent, developmental and helpful model of

nationalisation of mines, which will benefit all people”.

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