ANC under pressure, warns Mantashe
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has warned of the imminent danger posed to the party as a result of its elective conference in Mangaung in December.
Speaking yesterday at a Young Communist League Youth Day rally in Modimolle, Limpopo, Mantashe warned that irrationality, factionalism and the jostling for positions in the ANC posed a risk to rational politics.
Mantashe cautioned against what he said was the very real likelihood that South Africans were already distrustful of politics as a discipline, because of the infighting in the ruling party.
"Rationality and cool headed-ness are more critical in 2012 than ever before," Mantashe said.
Mantashe - like President Jacob Zuma - dismissed criticism of The Second Transition, arguing that it was premature and that the policy document should be debated first.
Mantashe's sentiments were echoed by YCL secretary Buti Manamela, who laid into the ANC Youth League for snubbing yesterday's rally despite having been invited.
The ANCYL was instead represented by national executive committee member and newly installed Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training Mduduzi Manana.
Manamela chided the youth league for refusing to attend the YCL rally, instead choosing to honour the invitation of the "Friends of the ANC Youth League" event that Manamela described as tantamount to the formation of a new party competing with the ANC.
In what could be interpreted as an offensive against Julius Malema ally and Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale's financially troubled administration, Manamela told the estimated 1,000 strong crowd that "jobs in Limpopo have eyes and they choose who they want to be associated with".
"It is not about your skills, but about who you know," said Manamela.
He further decried the state of hospitals in the province, where patients were required to bring their own food because hospitals had run out of supplies.
Several departments in Limpopo were placed under administration last year by national government after discovering that the province was billions of rand in debt and could not pay employees and service providers.
The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), widely viewed to be filled with ANCYL members and Malema sympathisers, also came in for criticism.
Manamela stopped short of calling for YCL national chairman Yershan Pillay to take over the reins from former ANCYL deputy president Andile Lungisa.
"We need young vibrant people to lead the NYDA irrespective of the colour of their skin."