Zulu hits back at Maine's call for ANC 'old guard' to step aside

2016-06-02 12:09
Lindiwe Zulu. (File, City Press)

Lindiwe Zulu. (File, City Press)

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Johannesburg - Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has criticised the ANC Youth League president's comments that the “old guard” in the ruling party should step aside and let the youth lead.

"Yes, we want you as young people to bring your youthfulness, intellect, capacity to be able to direct where the country has to go to, but you will not do that by undermining that leadership that made it possible for us to be here today," she told dozens of young people at Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown, Soweto on Wednesday, at an ANCYL event to mark the start of youth month.

She was responding to Collen Maine's earlier comments that the older generation within the ruling party needed to retire as they no longer had the energy to implement their ideas.

"The hour of the youth has struck; the youth must rise to the occasion and take charge," he said.

He said the youth should thank senior party members for the work they had done to get South Africa to where it was today, but urged senior leaders to let the youth to lead as they were in touch with South Africans´ needs.

Maine said he was not inciting people to remove the current leadership, but merely making a point that young people needed to take the country forward.

"We are not saying that we will go to the offices of government and say 'leave!' or to Luthuli House and say 'so and so, leave!' but we are saying that at the right time, we must make sure that those who are given responsibility to take our revolution forward are young people."

'We didn't undermine our leaders'

Maine criticised senior ANC leaders for their compromises during the Codesa negotiations in 1991 and 1992, saying those compromises were haunting South Africans in the present day. The ANCYL needed to address these "mistakes", he said.

Shortly after his address, Zulu took the podium to defend senior ANC leaders. When her generation decided to join the ANC in the 1970s, they committed to being guided by senior leaders at the time, including Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, and President Jacob Zuma.

"We joined them, we were given guidance by them. We didn't undermine them and tell them that now it's our time, move over. We built what we were able to do on their shoulders because they created an environment for us to be able to do that."

She conceded that perhaps government needed to revisit some of the decisions made before 1994, but on condition that the youth league base its points on facts, studies, and analyses.

"The route that we took was a route that enabled us to create a conducive environment to govern the country, but also a conducive environment to make sure that there's economic empowerment, so I'm throwing it back to you, young people, to look at that," Zulu said.

She challenged the youth to define what they were fighting for, as previous generations had.

"Our mandate was to make sure that South Africa is free, South Africa is free today because we dared sacrifice and remove that enemy. The question that I'm asking you today is that as we sacrificed for this South Africa to be free today, what is your '76?"

Read more on:    anc  |  ancyl  |  lindiwe zulu  |  collen maine  |  johannesburg  |  politics

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