Youth league told to pull up its socks

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

ANC president Jacob Zuma read the riot act to the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) at its second-leg national congress at Nasrec, Johannesburg, at the weekend.

Zuma told the league to stop embarrassing the ANC and the people of South Africa with their bad behaviour.

"Discipline to the ANC means that we must learn to listen and respect the opinions of others while maintaining the fundamental principle of collective decision-making and a respect for a culture of democratic centralism," Zuma said.

Zuma said the league must chart its own legacy, deal decisively with discipline issues and tolerate divergent views and ideas.

Closing the second leg of the league's congress, he condemned the "unruly behaviour" by delegates at the acrimonious first leg of the league's congress held in Mangaung.

He said the gathering was "difficult to imagine [it] as an ANC Youth League conference".

"What we saw there was disappointing, to say the least. You treated each other as almost enemies rather than fellow ANCYL comrades.

"You were prepared to even embarrass this glorious youth movement in front of the whole country and the international guests that you had invited."

Zuma said it was against ANC culture to carry mock coffins bearing the names of other comrades and that stripping naked to protest against election results must stop. He said the youth ought to emulate (formerANCYL leader) Pixley ka Seme, who fought against ethnicity and worked for the unity of Africans.

The ANCYL should critically look at the country's challenges and come up with proper solutions.

He reminded the delegates that they had joined the ANC as individuals to advance a revolution and to liberate people from socio-economic bondage.

"You must understand that for any revolution to succeed, it requires unprecedented levels of political discipline and maturity."

The top-five leaders that were elected in Mangaung were endorsed. They are: Julius Malema (president) Andile Lungisa (deputy), Vuyiswa Tulelo (secretary-general), Steven Ngobeni (deputy) and Pule Maba (national treasurer) .

Under the theme "Unity in Action", the delegates were also lobbied to elect a united list of additional members comprising members from supporters of both Malema and Saki Mofokeng, who was an ANCYL presidential candidate in Mangaung.