The ANC Youth League will fight any attempts by "greedy yellow communists" to control the party, its president Julius Malema said on Tuesday.
The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) will fight any attempts by “greedy yellow communists” to control the party, its president Julius Malema said on Tuesday.
“If that booing was a declaration of war, we are accepting that invite,” Malema said referring to his reception at the South African Communist Party (SACP) conference in Polokwane last week.
He told the Pretoria Press Club that the leadership of the SACP had become corrupt and needed to be taught a lesson in proper political engagement.
“The yellow communists are driven by greed. They sing anti-corruption songs. They are the most corrupt. There is everything wrong with the communists trying to take over the ANC. They must be reminded of the character we want, booing is not part of the character,” he said.
After Malema and ANC national executive committee member Billy Masetlha were booed at the SACP event, Malema reportedly asked ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, who is also SACP chairperson, for a chance to address delegates but this was refused and Malema left.
This had led to a heated debate between the ANCYL and SACP.
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Monday accused Malema of fostering anti-communism in the ANC.
“The structures of the ANCYL have been unleashing missives to the SACP as part of reinforcing the resurgence of anti-SACP posturing within our revolutionary alliance as led by the African National Congress,” said spokesperson Castro Ngobese in a statement.
Malema and SACP deputy secretary general Jeremy Cronin recently disagreed on how the nationalisation debate and policy should evolve.
Malema is credited with starting a debate on whether the Freedom Charter’s clause on sharing mineral wealth should be interpreted as nationalising the country’s mines.
Numsa, a 260 000-member affiliate of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), with which the ANC and SACP form a political alliance, believed the attacks should be “located and understood within the context of the re-alignment of different class forces and fractions (sic) within the ANC who see the SACP as a threat to their narrow and self-centred accumulation interests.”
“The ANCYL particularly with particular reference to its president Malema must be cautious not be knowingly or unknowingly co-opted and used by this fraction (sic).”
Ngobese said it supported the nationalisation of mines, but not as a means of using government money to bail out failing business to benefit the owners, which it regarded as “vulgarisation” of the ideal.
It could see the league’s role in agitating for the implementation of the Freedom Charter, but wanted Cosatu to “seek an audience” with the league “as part of rescuing this progressive formation of young people from being co-opted because of the new economic interests entrenched amongst our leaders”.—Sapa