'We do not subscribe to private armies on the side' - ANC rejects ANCYL guerrilla training camp

ANCYL spring getaway pamphlet. (Supplied)
ANCYL spring getaway pamphlet. (Supplied)

ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte has rejected plans by a branch of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) to conduct a military guerrilla training camp.

News24 reported that an advert has been making the rounds of an ANCYL spring weekend getaway that will include several activities in August. The event will cost each member R500 and the activities listed include flag pole raising and lowering, an obstacle course, swimming, hiking, military training, gun handling and guerrilla tactics.

Radio station 702 spoke to the ANCYL's Bheki Nkutha who could not answer as to the purpose of youth league members receiving military training.

Nkutha said the "relevant authorities" in the ANC were aware of the activities but would not give a specific ANC member's name.

But Duarte has rubbished the claims at a post-national executive committee (NEC) media briefing.

"We do not accept the decision of a youth league somewhere in Gauteng, I think it's greater Johannesburg, that they will be training people militarily and handing out guns.

"We actually reject that absolutely and the youth league will be requested to come and explain themselves to us. That kind of statement, if anybody wants to join the defence force they can apply and become a member of the South African National Defence Force.

"We do not subscribe to private armies on the side," said Duarte. 

The venue for the camp, Camp Zenith, said it was "never contacted" by the ANCYL, saying the intent "to train citizens for warfare is definitely against the values of our peace-loving camp site", News24 reported.

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