New ANCYL leader is intolerant - Friedman

2015-09-11 14:21
Steven Friedman (Pictue: LinkedIn)

Steven Friedman (Pictue: LinkedIn)

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Johannesburg - Newly-elected ANC Youth League president Collen Maine does not seem to be very tolerant of criticism, political analyst Steven Friedman said on Friday.

"I think he has given all the answers to none of the questions. He didn't answer anything I said. I said that it is undemocratic to expect a person to get 25% of the votes to stand for elections. He didn't say anything about that," Friedman told News24.

In an article published on BDLive on Wednesday, Friedman wrote that the ANCYL's election process was undemocratic.

"After a heated campaign in which four candidates competed, North West MEC Collen Maine was elected — unopposed," Friedman wrote at the time.

"The reason? His opponents did not receive the one-quarter of the vote they needed to stand. And, just in case the losers did not feel hard done by, calls for a recount were rejected when one candidate, former league leader Ronald Lamola, was said to have missed the cut by a small margin.

"Insisting that candidates win 25% seems to be a reasonable way of preventing no-hopers wasting the youth league’s time. In reality, it is deeply undemocratic: simple arithmetic shows that a candidate can be elected unopposed with 30% of the vote."

Commentators will comment

On Thursday evening, Maine said "counter-revolutionary forces" predominantly from "liberal agenda views made by so-called opinion makers in the name of Steven Friedman and [Eusebius] McKaiser" sought to nullify the gains made by the league.

Speaking at the league's 71st birthday celebrations in Mbombela, the new league president said: "These people who were not part of congress think they can go and mislead the public on what happened in a congress.

"Contrary to the views of these charlatans there’s nothing unconstitutional that was done in upholding internal democratic processes of the ANC. We will not be told by doomsayers with a liberal agenda on how the youth league must be,” he said.

Whether Friedman or McKaiser liked it or not, the ANC Youth League would continue supporting President Jacob Zuma, as he was a leader of the ANC, Maine said.

Friedman said apart from not addressing the argument he made, Maine's response was "the usual rhetoric". 

"It's a public organisation [the youth league]. This kind of peculiar idea that the only people who are allowed to comment on the youth wing of the governing party are people who belong to it and attend its conferences is something I would've thought we would've lost a long time ago," Friedman said.

"It's a constitutional democracy. Public commentators will comment and continue to comment on whatever they want to comment and if people who are commented on feel there are factual inaccuracies or weaknesses in our arguments they are welcome to try and point them out," he said.

"Mr Maine doesn't seem too bothered to point out any weaknesses in any of our arguments or any of our factual statements. It clearly just indicates an intolerance of criticism basically."

Read more on:    ancyl  |  steven friedman  |  collen maine

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