Youth league says ANC guilty of 'intimidation tactics'

The former head of the National Prosecuting Authority, advocate Vusi Pikoli, finds himself unemployed again because of political interference.

The former head of the National Prosecuting Authority, advocate Vusi Pikoli, finds himself unemployed again because of political interference.

The ANC is trying to silence the views of individuals, the ANC Youth League said on Saturday.

“The ANC is committed to silencing the views, not only of young people, as evidenced by the expulsion and banning of our president and suspension of our leaders,” spokesperson Khusela Sangoni said in a statement.

“The ANC seems determined to suppress even the views of individuals, as in the case of Reuel Khoza and church leaders, and the media who are brave enough to express views not sanctioned by the leadership.”

Sangoni was responding to a statement from the ANC on the City Press boycott and the resignation of former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Vusi Pikoli from his job at an auditing firm.

“Pikoli’s assertion that he was removed as a result of political interference from the ANC and our motherbody’s call to boycott City Press demonstrate a growing intolerance of dissent and differing views within our organisation,” Sangoni said.

“We call on our organisation to reconsider its intimidation tactics against the City Press and on all members of society to determinedly defend the right to differing views with no fear of retribution.”

On Friday, the ANC said it knew nothing about claims that Pikoli was pressurised by “unnamed people in the ANC” to resign from his job.

The party said the report in the Mail & Guardian was about the government and had nothing to do with the ANC.

According to the report, Pikoli was asked to resign from SizweNtsalubaGobodo (SNG), the fifth-largest auditing firm in the country, after ANC officials allegedly threatened to cut off government contracts if he did not leave.

Pikoli, confirmed to the M&G he had been told “there is a clear expectation to resign” at the end of February this year.

Pikoli left SizweNtsalubaGobodo in the middle of March.

“I am reluctant to speak about leaving SNG,” Pikoli said. “But yes, I was told that there was a clear expectation of me to resign because some unnamed people in the ANC were not happy that I was working for SNG and that it would in future be difficult to award contracts to SNG because of me, I was told.”

City Press boycott

The ANC also called for a boycott of the City Press newspaper until it removes an image depicting President Jacob Zuma with his genitals displayed, and apologises for using the image.

“Until then, we will continue to call on all South Africans, including all formations of civil society [business, labour, churches, youth formations, and women organisations], and democrats at large who share our sentiment on this issue to boycott the newspaper, cancel their subscriptions as we have done already, and not to advertise in the City Press,” ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.

The ruling party denied it was abusing its power or intimidating anyone in its boycott call. - Sapa

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