Juju loses out on all fronts

2010-09-25 00:00

ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema was trounced at the party’s NGC in Durban and well and truly put in his place by the end of the five days.

The ANCYL lost out on most of the issues it planned to raise. There was only compromise on the league’s request for the nationalisation of the mines. However, even this did not carry through exactly as the league envisaged. The NGC agreed that the proposal must be thoroughly researched before any recommendations are made to the national policy conference in 2012. According to

Delegates said nationalisation was the hot potato at the NGC, and the league did not compromise on its request. Its delegates had packed the economic commission to see their proposal go through. However, when it came to the broader plenary session, delegates from the provinces spoke out against the proposal.

It is understood that the discussion became heated and that KZN secretary-general Sihle Zikhalala managed to calm the debate. Delegates eventually agreed to a compromise — that the issue of nationalisation be investigated before any decision is taken

Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel described the discussions to reporters as “flavoursome”.

“Like some curries in this part of the world, it was hot,” he said.

Malema lost his bid to get the disciplinary action against him nullified. It was raised in a commission, but an ANC veteran pointed out that as much as they would have liked to absolve the youth leader, it was he himself who pleaded guilty to the charges. The matter ended there and did not go to the plenary session.

Similarly on the ANCYL’s request for a “generational mix” and for more young people to be promoted to leadership positions, it was pointed out that delegates needed only to look around in the hall to see the generational mix. There were young and old representatives from the branches and several people, all below the age of 40, in leadership roles.

While journalists waited to be invited to the open session of the NGC, Malema cut a lonely figure as he walked up to the entrance with a single bodyguard.

In his closing address, ANC president Jacob Zuma sounded a firm but reconciliatory note. He laid down the law on poor discipline, warning there would be consequences. He said the NGC also instructed the leadership to root out factional elements in the ANC, including those in the national executive committee.

The highlight of the the event, said Zuma, was that the ANC had dug deep into its revolutionary roots and found a way forward based on unity, stability and selfless service to the community, he said.

For this he thanked the ANC Veterans’ League, who for the first time were included as delegates to the NGC. Zuma said it was these veterans who called the organisation to order and reminded those present that the ANC is an organisation steeped in the tradition of human rights and a defender of democracy.

Later he addressed a Heritage Day event at Moses Mabhida stadium, calling on on South Africans to learn from the lesson of the World Cup for national unity.

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