No YCL will be FYL – Manamela

2012-05-23 11:17

No member of the Young Communist League (YCL) will be permitted to join the Friends of the Youth League (FYL), YCL general secretary Buti Manamela has said.

“We will not give homage to renegades who want to remain members of the YCL and still be part of a so-called Friends of the ANC Youth League,” Manamela told journalists at a briefing in Cosatu House in Johannesburg yesterday.

Manamela said the formation of the “so-called” FYL, “in our view is an opposition rather than a defence to the former president of the ANCYL”.

The FYL was formed soon after youth league leader Julius Malema was expelled from the ANC and from the league, although the youth league has insisted that Malema remains its president.

“Organisations such as Cope and UDM were launched on the same basis, and therefore, we cannot allow people within our structures to be part of such quasi-breakaway groups,” Manamela said, but added he was glad to hear Malema saying he would not start his own party.

Manamela defended the YCL’s support of the Friends of JZ before Jacob Zuma became president.

He said at the time “the current president was still a member of the ANC” and the body wasn’t meant to show him as “heroic”.

It was merely a way to help Zuma, who was a “victim of state machinations” when he was accused of rape.

He said it would be a “joke” to compare FYL with Friends of JZ, and try to replicate the organisation.

“We are happy that the leaders of the youth league distanced themselves from this,” he said.

He added that Malema had expressed confidence that the ANC’s internal processes would absolve him, and Manamela wished him good luck.

The youth league last week wrote to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe to ask the ANC’s national executive committee to review Malema’s case.

The letter was, however, too late to be discussed by the party’s officials and the national working committee before last weekend’s national executive committee meeting.

Manamela also warned against the “rise of personality politics and the hero-cult”, which he claimed was foreign to the YCL.

“The many recent attempts to elevate and (the) praise-singing of individuals above the organisations must be discouraged with the contempt it deserves. As the YCL, we do not subscribe to the notion of super-heroes and celebrity politicians in our structures,” he said.

“This tendency must be especially discouraged among young people who have the responsibility of leading these organisations in the future.”

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