Durban – ANC Youth League president Collen Maine on Saturday said the old guard of the movement should step aside and let the young people lead the country.
“Thank you baba [President Jacob Zuma] and your generation for going to exile and everything that you have done, but [it’s time] we must take over and lead the ANC and the country,” he said.
Maine, who was speaking at the Youth Month rally at the Kings Park stadium in Durban said come August 3, the Youth League would vote for the ANC.
He said in January 2013 when the ANC was celebrating its January 8 statement, Zuma said the old guard should make way for young people.
“We know that we touch on the nerves of the chiefs and the madams [in government] but we will continue to make this call, therefore [former ANCYL] president Malusi Gigaba, [former ANCYL] president Lulu Johnson and the generation that came after you, it is time for us to take over the African National Congress and propel the revolution forward. We are saying this without fear or favour.”
He said the country was young and that should be reflected in the ANC.
“The movement has banned us from talking about 2017 but when that time comes, we will talk about nothing else except that young people should lead the movement.”
He said the Youth League agreed with the ANC Women’s League that it was time for a woman president.
“But, in the top six of the ANC there must be young people and in the NEC. We are very disciplined but that reflection is very important.”
He said young people could implement the demands the Youth League brought forward.
Earlier Maine presented demands for its mother body which included free quality education, job creation, the creation of a state owned bank and land restitution.
Maine said members in the Youth League, particularly in leadership positions, should remember that it was still in a revolution and that revolution is not a walk in the park.
“It is not a romantic relationship; we must not be deterred by anyone as long as what we are doing is in the best interest of the youth of South Africa. We must not seek approval from anyone including our leaders of the movement…
“Leaders of the Youth League must jump out of the pockets of old people and start fighting for the interests of young people...”
He said the youth league was not in a romantic relationship with the older generation in the mother body.
“Your romantic relationship with old people must not happen at the expense of the youth of South Africa. As a leader of young people, how do you sleep at night knowing that you have betrayed the aspirations of young people for a tender or a job?”
As a warning to those who continued to sell-out the youth of South Africa, he said: “They deserve to be somewhere in a museum of shame. This country belongs to all who live in it.”
He said the youth was in war for economic freedom.
“Anything that wants to stop us from achieving the economic freedom is an enemy and must be crushed.”
Maine said the youth of the country was not happy that the ANC had discussed mayoral candidates for strategic municipalities and that none of the Youth League members had made it onto the list.
“This means that we do not have capacity and but that is not true.”
He said the ANC should give the youth an opportunity to lead.
“We have the capacity as the youth of this country to lead those municipalities.”
He said the ANCYL should continue to fight white monopoly capital.
“We cannot allow the [Johann] Ruperts of this world to control us, we cannot have two governments. The government is that of the ANC… Some of us in the ANC are [more] scared of the maggots than the people in the ANC.
“We are not afraid of the maggots.”
He said black people should control the economy.
“Anybody who stands in the way, we will crush him or her, we are the future and nobody will stop us... victory is certain,” said Maine.
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