THE ANC has rejected suggestions by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema that the Pan Africanist Congress had hijacked the ANC's anti-pass laws campaign that resulted in the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960.
ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe told a media briefing yesterday at Luthuli House, the ANC headquarters, that it was "a fact of history" that the PAC organised the Sharpeville and Langa protest of March 21,1960.
"The reality of the matter is that the PAC organised the Sharpeville and Langa protests . We have no problem with that," said Mantashe, pictured.
"So, to us, whether that was pre-empting a campaign by the ANC or not is neither here nor there. "We are saying that the massacre happened at a PAC-organised event.
But the youth league has refused to change its stance - despite direction from the ANC boss, with ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu saying yesterday that the league still insisted the PAC had hijacked an ANC campaign.
"The ANCYL remains firm on the position that the PAC hijacked the anti-pass laws campaign and protests organised by the ANC in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
"The ANC Youth League has never said the PAC did not participate in the Sharpeville protests, but has always emphasised that the anti-pass laws campaign was originally a campaign of the ANC, which was opportunistically hijacked by the PAC before the ANC could stage a march against the apartheid regime."