The African National Congress will always be there to take the “youth by the ear” and bring them into line when they are wrong, president Kgalema Motlanthe said on Tuesday.
The president was addressing a public meeting held in Lenasia, Johannesburg, as part of the ANC’s 2009 election campaign.
“The youth must always bring a radical perspective and energy and oomph … but of course the role of the mother body [ANC] is to nurture, guide, train and develop this youth.
“When we have a youth that is energetic but erroneous… at the same time you cannot shirk your responsibility of correcting them and bringing them into line,” the president said when asked a question about the controversial utterances made by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.
“The role of the ANC is to take the youth by the ear and turn them around. We must always bring Julius into line, all the time. Each time he says anything wrong we must pull him by the ear and bring him into line.
“The ANC never gives up on anyone,” Motlanthe said.
Little boy who is wet behind the ears
Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille told the Mail & Guardian Online on Tuesday that she stood by her remark made on Sunday that Julius Malema is an “inkwenkwe”, which refers to an uncircumcised boy.
She said Malema was “a little boy who is wet behind the ears”.
Gloves came off and political correctness was forgotten this weekend when the ANC Youth League president and the DA leader addressed communities across the country as part of their election campaign.
In what is fast becoming a mud-slinging match between the two parties, Zille referred to Malema as an “inkwenkwe” while addressing a packed hall in KwaNobuhle near Port Elizabeth. She was responding to Malema’s remarks made on Saturday at an ANC rally in Durban.
Malema reportedly called her a “racist, colonialist and imperialist” and said that DA deputy leader Joe Seremane’s “role is to smile at the madam every time”.