Youth league pressed on-button for protests – Zille

2012-08-30 14:17

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has accused the ANC Youth League of fomenting unrest in the province.

“I have very little doubt that all of the violent disruption was directly linked to the ANC Youth League’s call [to make the Western Cape ungovernable],” Zille told reporters in Cape Town, after the league marched in the city for better service delivery on Monday.

“And one of the clearest proofs of that is the day they said ‘ok, we’re not protesting,’ it all stopped, and when they pressed the on-button it all started again.”

Zille said residents of poor areas had routinely told her they were visited and told to vandalise property.

She and others, including security agencies, had handed evidence to the police, but there was a reluctance to charge members of the league.

“There is a selective application of justice sometimes in this society. I don’t think the president is going to say anything about the ANC Youth League in the run-up to Mangaung. I think a lot of this is about Mangaung, and obviously it is about 2014,” she said, referring to the ANC’s elective conference and the next election year.

Zille said the league was trying to step into a leadership vacuum in Western Cape, and targeting the Democratic Alliance administration to draw attention to itself.

“It is about the big internal battle in the ANC, and they can’t make their name trying to fight each other, that’s why they take on Zille. That’s why they are marching. It’s all about 2014 and all about Mangaung.

“And that is why Jacob Zuma won’t rein in the ANC Youth League because he can only afford to alienate Julius Malema so much. He has lost the youth league.”

Zille insisted she would not meet the youth league unless it withdrew its threat to make the province ungovernable.

“I have made it clear that as soon as the ANC Youth League withdraws its threats to make Cape Town ungovernable, I will come and meet them. If I go down and meet them ... I’m saying you can threaten to make things ungovernable, you can stone buses, destroy traffic lights, you can burn things on railway lines, but that is fine ... we can sit down and have a cosy chat.”

Zille called the media briefing to rebut the league’s allegations that the DA administration did not deliver to the poor.

“We take the taxpayers’ money that we get and we redistribute it massively to the poor people.”

She said the Western Cape government spent 71% of its education budget and 78% of its health budget on the poor.

In these two areas, its successes included slashing mother to child transmission of HIV to one percent, and the number of under-performing schools from 85% to 30% in two years.

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