Back to school

POLITICALLY immature incidents that disrupted the ANC Youth League's last election conference have prompted its president, Julius Malema, to focus on political education for the 97-year-old organisation.

Delegates to the conference in Mangaung, which elected Malema last year, stripped and exposed their bare bottoms to television cameras. A fistfight broke out with the losing side claiming the elections had been rigged.

Malema is leading an ANC campaign to develop a new breed of cadre, as envisioned by the party's elective conference in Stellenbosch in 2005, when delegates resolved to develop disciplined new cadres.

The party's political luminaries are also expected to address workshops across the country. Minister in the Presidency for Performance Management and Evaluation Collins Chabane and Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel will start the ball rolling at a workshop this week.

ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe had strong words for the youth after their conference, saying the league should urgently address its weaknesses.

"It could not be correct that the youth league pronounces and acts in a manner that creates the perception that it was not quite amenable to the organisational discipline of the ANC," Motlanthe said

Today, Malema launches the ANCYL National Political School and Train the Trainers workshop in Krugersdorp.

The league said the political school was part of its "political education institutionalisation programme", adding that it would trigger "intensified political education among members of the organisation".

ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambo said the young politicians would be schooled in the history of the ANC, the Freedom Charter and ANC strategy and tactics documents.

"It is more urgent now that we have attracted thousands of young people to the ANC in the past elections and they need to be taught the cultures of the ANC.

"We will also be teaching them about the relevance of the ANC-led tripartite alliance with Cosatu and the SACP, as well as the broad national democratic movement."