Limpopo premier defends youth league

2011-12-17 15:45

Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale has come out in defence of the beleaguered ANC Youth League by saying corrective measures against its leaders should not be “draconian”.

He also called for disciplinary action to be applied even-handedly.

Mathale has become one of the few senior ANC leaders to speak out in defence of the league following the five-year suspension of its leader, Julius Malema.

Malema’s appeal against this suspension is expected to be heard within the next few weeks.

“Disciplinary action must not be abused for that will cause and promote factionalism whilst eroding important elements of unity and cohesion,” he said today in his political report to about 1 000 delegates attending the ANC’s Limpopo conference just outside Polokwane.

Mathale supported the league’s call for internal disciplinary action to be applied even-handedly.

“We must never take advantage of our positions or influence in the movement by using important instruments which are meant to contribute towards the building of a strong organisation to achieve narrow political interests,” he said.

Mathale also said the ANC should give the league “the necessary space to think on its own and to articulate its views without any fear or prejudice”.

He said the ANC should not “sponsor” the league with ideas, but it must generate its own.

“Where the youth league has committed grave mistakes, corrective measures must be employed to show them the way, but not measures draconian.

It is not in our best interest to have the youth league that cannot bring new ideas in the ANC.

We must not attempt to redefine the militant character for the youth league,” he said.

He also said the league’s role of “determining the outcomes of political meetings in the organisation” should not be “eroded or frustrated”.

The league has previously expressed its support for Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula to take over from incumbent secretary-general Gwede Mantashe as part of a leadership that would oust President Jacob Zuma.

Many have interpreted Malema’s suspension to have been an attempt by Zuma to silence the league.

Mathale also said the league’s call for the nationalisation of the country’s mines – which he said was historically part of the ANC’s call – should not be silenced.

“The youth league must not be condemned or called names for speaking the language of the ANC,” he said.

“We must acknowledge that the role and challenges of the Youth League are bigger than they were before.”

Malema sat in the front row on stage today, next to senior provincial and national ANC leaders.

He arrived at the conference this morning, leading a group of people singing Mathale’s praises and singing mocking songs about Zuma’s 2006 rape trial remarks about taking a shower after sex to prevent the spread of Aids.

Voting stations are already being set up by the electoral commission, chaired by ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga, for voting later tonight. Results are expected overnight.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.