/ 23 March 2010

ANC mum on Malema’s latest outburst

Anc Mum On Malema's Latest Outburst

The ANC on Tuesday refused to comment on youth league president Julius Malema’s accusations that the Pan Africanist Congress “hijacked” the Sharpeville protest.

“We are not commenting on what the ANC Youth League president said on this particular matter,” said spokesperson Jackson Mthembu.

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  • Malema reportedly told a crowd at a Human Rights Day rally in Mafikeng on Monday that the Sharpeville uprising of 1960 — which later became a massacre when police opened fire and killed 69 people protesting about the pass laws — was organised by the ANC but hijacked by the PAC.

    ‘Political buffoon’
    His comments enraged the PAC Youth Congress (Payco), who described Malema as a “Micky-Mouse pop star” who “knows nothing” about the liberation struggle.

    “We will never allow this political buffoon to rape the proud rich liberation struggle credentials of PAC … A high school drop-out like Malema who cannot even pass woodwork cannot be expected to grapple with curious subjects like history.

    “It is only in the ANC where fools like him are allowed to occupy leadership positions,” Payco said in a statement.

    Payco slammed the comments as “foolish lies” and wants a public apology from the controversial youth league president.

    “The fact of history is that PAC organised and led the Positive Action Campaign and the ANC rejected an invitation from PAC founding president Mangaliso Sobukwe.

    “Through its then secretary general, Duma Nokwe, the ANC refused to participate in the march saying the ‘ANC is not going to participate in this protest because it lacks proper planning and it has no prospects of success’,” it said.

    ‘Truth had to be told’
    ANC Youth League spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy, however, said Malema’s comments should be viewed within the wider context in which the Sharpeville protests took place.

    “What he [Malema] was speaking about was the mobilisation prior to Sharpeville which was managed by the ANC,” she said, adding that
    the “truth had to be told” irrespective of how “uncomfortable” it was for some quarters.

    “The defiance campaign, which is the broader context, was initiated by the ANC in 1952.”

    It was important, Moonsamy said, for the youth league to ensure that the country’s history be correctly reflected.

    “We agree that we must never undermine nation building in this country but we must do it truthfully.” – Sapa