Young communists plan move against Mazibuko Jara

The Young Communist League (YCL) is considering suspending its deputy national secretary, Mazibuko Jara, for questioning the league’s support for Jacob Zuma.

It is understood that the league met on Thursday to discuss the suspension of Jara over a paper he has written titled What Colour Is Our Flag? Red or JZ?. The paper has been leaked to the Mail & Guardian.

The YCL has disowned the paper, arguing that it has no status, as it was not formally presented, and does not represent the views of the YCL’s membership.

The move against Jara is a clear indication that Zuma’s youth support has not been shaken by the rape allegations against him and the African National Congress national executive committee’s (NEC) damning statement dismissing Zuma’s claims to be the victim of a political conspiracy.

Support for Zuma in the ANC Youth League also appears to be unshaken.

In the 10-page document Jara suggests that the party’s approach to the Zuma matter “is a strategic lapse and a reflection of a deeper strategic and programmatic crisis in our party”.

The paper calls for “a party retreat and reorientation on the JZ matter” and expresses what many tripartite alliance members have been saying informally for some time—that the belief that Zuma is a champion of the left is incorrect.

Jara writes: “Can JZ really be regarded as part of the left and the working-class forces in the ANC? JZ’s own role in the isolation and marginalisation of a working-class programme in the ANC requires scrutiny.
Can JZ really provide breathing space for a left project as it is sometimes argued and implied?”

The YCL and the ANC Youth League have refrained from commenting since the rape allegations emerged two weeks ago.

But leaders of the two organisations insisted this week that the rape allegation did not affect their “principled” stance that Zuma had been treated unfairly during Scorpions investigations relating to his corruption case, and that he would not receive a fair trial.

They have aimed their guns at the media for seeking to damage Zuma politically by publishing the rape allegations when Zuma had not been charged.

The leagues believe that as in the case of Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai and cricketer Makhaya Ntini, the allegations could come to naught.

ANCYL spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said they would continue to invite Zuma to speak at league events if necessary.

“The NEC resolution that support for Zuma be coordinated though the secretary general’s office relates to support for him at the court appearances. But the issue of who we invite to our events is a totally different matter. That is our prerogative,” Kodwa said.

YCL national secretary Buti Manamela said the league totally disagreed with the NEC statement that there was no substance to Zuma’s allegation of a political plot against him.

“The desperation of the Scorpions, as evidenced by their raid on Zuma’s house, proves to us a conspiracy exists. We are not aware of any basis for the NEC to conclude that there is no conspiracy.”

Rapule Tabane

Rapule Tabane

Rapule Tabane is the Mail & Guardian's politics editor. He sometimes worries that he is a sports fanatic, but is in fact just crazy about Orlando Pirates. While he used to love reading only fiction, he is now gradually starting to enjoy political biographies. He was a big fan of Barack Obama, but now accepts that even he is only mortal.
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