National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel has sided with “right-wing political forces opposed to the ANC”, the ANC Youth League said today.
This was in reaction to the minister calling government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi a “worst-order racist”.
The African National Congress Youth League was “disturbed” by the open letter Manuel wrote to Manyi, which was published in The Star newspaper today, said spokesperson Floyd Shivambu.
“In the letter, Trevor Manuel labels Jimmy Manyi a racist and likens him to the architect of apartheid HF Verwoerd because of an unfortunate observation Jimmy Manyi made, that coloured people are concentrated in the Western Cape,” said Shivambu.
“The youth league is disturbed, because as far as we are concerned Jimmy Manyi publicly apologised for those remarks and the ANC and most of society have accepted the apology.”
Shivambu said the tone of Manuel’s letter was “very sarcastic”.
“We now do not know who Trevor Manuel represents, because his remarks falls squarely into the political agenda of right-wing political forces opposed to the African National Congress,” said Shivambu.
He accused Manuel of working with and protecting the interests of “white monopoly capitalists”.
Anyone who had “subjective sentiments” on Manyi should, unlike Manuel, deal with the issue “internally”.
“Such conduct is totally out of order,” said Shivambu.
The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) today called for an investigation into statements made by Manyi that there was an “over-supply” of coloured people in the Western Cape.
This was said in an interview conducted with Manyi on the DStv channel KykNET last year.
Solidarity trade union posted a clip of the interview on YouTube last week.
Manuel, in his letter to Manyi, was reacting to the statements he made in the KykNET interview when he said “this over-concentration of coloureds in the Western Cape is not working for them”.
Manuel wrote: “Mr Manyi, you may be black, or perhaps you aren’t, because you do not accept that label and would prefer to be ‘only a Xhosa’, whatever the label you choose, I want to put it to you that your behaviour is the worst-order racist”.
Manyi’s comments came at a time when controversial amendments have been proposed to labour laws, which according to Solidarity trade union, could cause one million coloureds to lose their jobs in the Western Cape.
This has been denied by the labour department.
The youth league said it would not support any bill that excluded “certain people”.
“For the record, the ANC Youth League will never agree with any piece of legislation that excludes or discriminates against the historically disadvantaged individuals, and this includes coloureds, Indians and Africans.
“The ANC and its allies has in more than one occasion re-affirmed that the bill that somewhat suggests exclusion of certain people will not be adopted as an act of parliament, so those who are raising false alarms should in all honesty, relax,” said Shivambu.?