Youth League cries foul over public Botswana lashing

The ANC Youth League is “disappointed” at the public rebuke it received from ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu over its comments on Botswana, it said on Tuesday.

“In true principle of organisational democracy, which guide the ANC and its relationship to the ANC Youth League, public condemnation just does not happen, particularly on political issues that require discussion,” spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said on Tuesday.

He said Mthembu should have discussed the matter with the youth league before publicly condemning it.

The rebuke came after the youth league said it was sending a team to Botswana to consolidate local opposition parties as it believed the government there was “in full co-operation with imperialists” and was undermining the African agenda.

In a statement, Mthembu said the ANC wanted to “totally reject and publicly rebuke the ANCYL on its extremely thoughtless and embarrassing pronouncements on ‘regime change’ in Botswana.”.

A question of policy
This was a total deviation from and an affront to ANC policy, he said.

On Tuesday, Shivambu said the ANC never “shied away from progressive internationalism”.

This included associating with “progressive formations” around the world and opposing those whose values were contrary to those of the ANC.

“The ANC Youth League takes a practical programme of liberating the people of Botswana from imperialist dominance.”

Shivambu said evidence showed that the Botswana government “openly embraced imperialism” and was a “potential security threat to the entire African continent”.

The youth league did not believe its position on Botswana was contrary to ANC policy.

What’s mined is ores
Shivambu also took a swipe at Public Enterprise Minister Malusi Gigaba over his comments on the nationalisation of mines.

On Monday, Gigaba told an American Chamber of Commerce breakfast that the government was aware of the harm the debate on nationalisation was doing to South Africa’s image, but it would not implement unconstitutional measures.

“The ANC Youth League is relieved that at last Mr Gigaba, who never held a political view on any issue before, now has courage to speak about nationalisation of mines, although with wrong approach, vigour and very wrong information,” said Shivambu.

He said that unlike some people who had led the youth league for many years and never had any impact, this generation had placed economic transformation on the ANC’s agenda.

Gigaba is a former president of the ANC Youth League.

Trouble blossoms
“The only thing known about some people is government flowers, which have nothing to do with the national democratic revolution and the Freedom Charter,” said Shivambu.

In 2007, Gigaba undertook to repay the home affairs department for flowers bought for his wife at government expense. He was the deputy minister of home affairs at the time.

“Former leaders of the ANC Youth League carry a responsibility and obligation to at all times robustly engage with the youth league, and avoid throwing insults and undermine processes of discussing nationalisation of mines,” said Shivambu.

He said the youth league would ask to meet with Gigaba “to take him through basics of nationalisation of mines”.—Sapa

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