Baboon bull

2012-01-07 18:56

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has slammed the name-calling and mocking songs sung about party leaders, calling them “symptoms of anarchy”.

This came on the eve of the party’s 100th birthday bash in Bloemfontein, where supporters of suspended ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema ­continued their taunting of President Jacob Zuma by singing the song, “the shower is giving us problems”.

The lyrics of the song refer to remarks Zuma made about having a shower after sex to prevent HIV/Aids.

On Friday, Malema slammed “baboon” leaders who believe they have arrived while people were still living in poverty.

While ANC leaders this week did their best to convey a positive message about the party’s celebrations, Malema, in three “mini-rallies” organised by the league, slammed the failures of party leaders.

In an interview with City Press, Mantashe said ANC members who sang derogatory songs or who failed to acknowledge Zuma in their speeches, as Malema often does, knew what they were doing.

“Anarchy is not (caused by) a lack of ­political education, but is a deliberate act of undermining the organisation. The ­solution is not political school or disciplinary action,” he said.

In response to a question on whether the ANC will discipline those members who sang the shower-song, Mantashe said: “It doesn’t help to run around with a disciplinary code under your arm,” but that it was better to “engage” the culprits.

Although Malema promised that the ANCYL wouldn’t disrupt this afternoon’s rally at the Free State Stadium, Mantashe admitted the party was prepared to deal with incidents, but its plans wouldn’t centre on these.

Zuma will be the only speaker and 100 000 people are expected at the rally, which will also be attended by a number of foreign dignitaries.

“If we have a plan, it will be a plan B in the bottom drawer. Negative thinking is a disease because it makes you plan negatively, and once you plan negatively, you become flat-footed.

We can’t go to the ­celebration of the ANC with the fear of negative things. If people do something negative, we will have to react to address it.”

ANC leaders remained tight-lipped on the content of the January 8 statement, which Zuma will be delivering this afternoon, but a national executive committee (NEC) member said Zuma will be honest.

“He’ll be explicit about leadership ­challenges, party structures and issues of discipline when he talks about the values of the ANC,” the NEC source said.

Mantashe said the statement would be 56 pages long – 38 pages longer than last year’s 18-page speech.

“It will look into the historic evolution of the ANC and talk to the present, and look a distance ahead as well,” he said.

Malema continued his defiance, two weeks ahead of his disciplinary appeal, which many expect will uphold his five- year suspension from the ANC.

Malema told his supporters in Thaba Nchu on Friday his blood would remain “black, green and gold” even if he was ­expelled. He concluded by singing about going to Mangaung even if he is “suspended, expelled or arrested”.

Later in an informal settlement outside Bloemfontein, Malema slammed those who think they “have arrived”, saying it could not happen as long as people were living in squatter camps.

“They refuse to hire you because they say you are not educated. This baboon ­also forgets that he is not educated. He speaks broken English even though when you elected him he spoke proper Sesotho. All off a sudden he wants to speak English.

“When he comes to funerals he brings his own water and refuses to drink funeral water. He refuses to eat funeral food. These are people who think we have ­arrived. As long as you still live in this ­poverty we have not arrived,” he said.

Malema yesterday told City Press the interpretation that he was referring to ­Zuma was “rubbish”.

“I was talking about people who get elected in squatter camps and later ­become something else. It was in a ­context of local government and councillors. I have never spoken about national leadership. In fact, in reference to Zuma there was a lot of emphasis on respect.”

Former president Thabo Mbeki’s spokesperson Mukoni Ratshitanga confirmed that he had been in Bloemfontein since yesterday. Mbeki was scheduled to hand a centenary torch to Zuma during today’s ceremony.

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