motlanthe takes swipe at the ancyl

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe has warned ANC Youth League members against practising "empty rhetoric or mindless radicalism".

Motlanthe was speaking at the 64th anniversary of the ANCYL in Johannesburg yesterday.

He said that those who feel that ANCYL members should only be "militant and impatient" were undermining the league.

Motlanthe told the ANCYL that it needed to revisit its key tasks, which he said were to "fight, produce and learn".

His comments could jeopardise the fragile truce between him and the ANCYL. Two weeks ago, the league delivered a scathing attack on Motlanthe, slamming him for his "unmandated attacks" on the ANCYL in the media.

They accused him of behaving like the ANC's sole representative, "as if ANC president Jacob Zuma was no more".

The ANC national executive committee had to intervene and broker a truce. Both sides agreed that they would not attack each other in the media in future.

But Motlanthe's comments yesterday that the post-apartheid environment is characterised by careerism, opportunism within the ANC's ranks, factionalism, patronage and "the imperative of self-advancement" could be seen as yet another attack on the behaviour of ANCYL members.

Motlanthe also told the league they should focus on the voter registration campaign, and on getting young people to apply for ID books and to register to vote, which they could interpret as meaning that they should leave politics to the older generation.