ANCYL must defend democracy - Zuma

2015-09-05 15:01
President Jacob Zuma at the 25th ANCYL Congress in Midrand, Johannesburg. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

President Jacob Zuma at the 25th ANCYL Congress in Midrand, Johannesburg. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Johannesburg - The country’s democracy needed to be defended from “counter-revolutionaries”, President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday.

“People are doing counter-revolutionary [things] and we just looking at them as if they are doing nice things,” he told the 25th national ANC Youth League congress in Midrand, Johannesburg.

“The ANC and the country need you right now, the ANCYL. Your role is to defend this hard won democracy from all counter-revolutionaries, from all counter-revolutionary elements,” he said.

Zuma told the ANCYL that it needed to differentiate between revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries. It was up to the ANCYL to lead the youth of South Africa politically.

“Mobilise young people behind the vision of the ANC. [The ANCYL] must close the space for all opportunistic, pseudo-left and narrow nationalist and counter-revolutionary organisations which confuse rudeness and ill-discipline with revolutionary action,” said Zuma.

The country and the ANC needed the ANCYL.

‘Negative tendencies’

Zuma referred to negative tendencies that were creeping into the organisation that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke about on Friday.

This included gate-keeping, bulk-buying of membership, intimidation, careerism, patronage, crass materialism and the use of money to secure votes. Zuma said the ANCYL which emerged from the national congress had to unite behind the new leaders who were elected and work to eliminate factionalism, which he called a “dangerous animal”.

Factionalism diverted members from building the ANC and the country, he said.

“We must kill this animal called factionalism.”

He said the ANCYL had to move on from the “destructive path” it had been on.

This seemed to be a reference to the ANCYL under former president Julius Malema.

Call for loyalty

The president made a few references to this time in the league, warning the new leaders that they could not operate in the same way.

“We need an ANCYL which is loyal to the ANC and loyal to the people of South Africa.”

Breaking away from his prepared speech, Zuma in isisZulu said: “There is a politically party which I will not mention by name.

“The people in that party wear uniform. I will not mention this organisation I seem to have forgotten their name but we cannot act like that we need to be exemplary.”

Switching back to English he said: “We are the home of the people and people learn from us not only in South Africa from in the continent. They learn from the ANC and they learn from the ANC government.”

Read more on:    eff  |  ancyl  |  julius malema  |  jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  politics

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