Radical changes needed - Malema

2010-08-26 08:55

Johannesburg - The ANC Youth League must examine whether the current ANC leadership is willing to use its power to change the economic conditions of South Africans, league president Julius Malema said on Wednesday.

"As the ANCYL we are worried about the re-emergence of the tendency to please the Queen in Britain," he said to muffled giggles from delegates at the league's first national general council, held in Midrand.

President Jacob Zuma paid a state visit to Britain in March, during which he met the Queen.

“This is an issue this NGC should discuss,” he said while delivering his political report.

"The reason they are going to the Queen to account... is because they believe that such is the way, even with the power that was given to them by the people of South Africa."

White minority capital

Malema said "radical" changes in the country's economy were needed to improve the lives of all South Africans, including nationalising the country's mines.

Economic conditions both domestically and internationally were conducive to this "radical" change of economic policy.

The "strategic enemy", however remained "white minority capital", whose interests were expressed politically through parties such as the Democratic Alliance, and which were "guarded by a reactionary media", he charged.

"Our battle cry is the attainment of economic freedom in our lifetime. The wealth of South Africa should benefit all who live in it."

Malema began his address with an apology to Young Communist League national secretary Buti Manamela. Manamela was shouted down as he tried to deliver a message of support from the YCL earlier.

The ANCYL president criticised those who took the organisation to court to challenge internal decisions and those who felt they had a “divine right to lead”.

“Those who believe they have a divine right to lead by hook or by crook will never succeed.”

Support for Mbalula

Despite Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula's absence from the event, delegates sang about him. Malema's deputy Andile Lungisa called on delegates to sing a "revolutionary song". They broke out in a song in support of Mbalula, who the league wants to replace ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe at the ruling party's 2012 elective conference. They did this despite Lungisa earlier urging them not to sing about "personalities".

Mantashe is also chairperson of the SA Communist Party, an ANC ally.

Malema joined in the revelry, dancing and clapping, prompting delegates to leave their seats and make their way to the stage. They gathered at the front of the hall, singing their support for Mbalula, with Malema and the league's national executive committee members joining in from the stage. ANC leaders Thandi Modise, Baleka Mbete and Nathi Mthethwa stayed in their seats and looked on as the singing swelled.

The ANCYL in the Eastern Cape said it would push to have the NGC resolve on lobbying for Mbalula to take Mantashe's place in the run-up to 2012.

In a recent interview Malema described Mbalula as "my man". He also reportedly wanted the ruling party's leadership to reflect a "generational mix".

Mbalula is a former ANCYL president and a member of the ANC's national executive and working committees.

Lungisa battled to get the delegates to return to their seats, urging them to do so as an "international guest" was due to address them. When they eventually settled down, the league received a message of support from Zimbabwe's Zanu-PF.

Mbalula arrived shortly after this and received a warm welcome.