ANC Youth League aims to stop embarrassing ANC

2014-08-20 17:38

The ANC Youth League says the days of publicly and radically differing with its mother body are over.

It says rather it plans to articulate its perspectives, which are at variance with the ANC, in a manner “that does not weaken the ANC”.

These ideas are presented in the discussion documents which will inform its national conference which is planned for September 24 in Gauteng.

In a document that debates the ideological and political positioning of the ANCYL, the structure acknowledges that it is grappling with the notion of supporting its motherbody while maintaining a level of independent thinking.

The last structure of the league, led by Julius Malema, was disbanded mainly because it publicly took different positions from the ANC and was critical of many in the leadership. Malema was expelled and went on to form the Economic Freedom Fighters. His national executive committee was disbanded and a transitional national task team was formed to rebuild the league.

The paper is critical of Malema’s period of leadership.

“It is evident and indisputable that the period pre- and post-Mangaung was characterised by a YL that constituted itself as independent opposition from within the ANC. Anarchy, factionalism, circumventing of organisational processes was an order of the day as long as they were in line with Mangaung electoral objectives,” the paper noted.

The league’s Mangaung plan was to remove president Jacob Zuma from the leadership of the party, a project which failed.

However, although the manner in which the then league leadership behaved is condemned, the conference at which they were elected is not questioned as the programme of ‘Economic Freedom in our Lifetime’ which was adopted then is accepted as a strategic point of reference.

The paper identifies the biggest threat to the sustainability of democracy as the weight of social inequalities and under-development.

“We are committed to occupying the front line of South Africa’s social transformation and to ceaselessly entrench a culture of conceiving radical solutions and propagate them with an engaged militancy”.

The paper says there are two competing views about the role of the league which need to be balanced.

The one perspective is “that the ANC Youth League must accept policy directives from the ANC, avoiding fully any public demonstration of reasoning differently, lest this plays into the hands of the broad onslaught by various forces seeking to weaken the public standing of the ANC.”

The other view is that the political and theoretical muscle of the ANCYL banks largely on the notion of the autonomy of the league.

“The ANC Youth League needs this autonomy as a strategic platform from which young people can be organised behind the political objectives of the ANC and as an organisational platform from which the Youth League can continually pursue youth interests within the ANC; infuse a militant, radical and energetic culture into the ANC.”

The proposed solution is for the Youth League to master the art of balancing “our public agitation of these perspectives, even if the ANC has not bought into them, in a manner that doesn’t weaken the ANC”.

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