Thin line between anarchy and militancy

We should be rallying all young people behind the banner of the ANC, says Rebone Tau. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

We should be rallying all young people behind the banner of the ANC, says Rebone Tau. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

It was quite shocking to read an article by Amanda Khoza on the press conference the ANC Youth League in KwaZulu-Natal held on Tuesday. It really left a bitter taste. It was reported that youth league provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo said: “He must not now pose himself as the alpha and the omega of the ANC.
He is a member like any other member and must abide by the Constitution of the ANC. We are willing to lay down our lives to defend the ANC and its leadership … even if it means taking comrade Kgalema [Motlanthe] to task, we will do that.”

The youth league comes from an era of insults towards leadership and one would think that in the process of rebuilding the league, we would make sure we raise issues but not insult our leaders as we continue to get wisdom from them, as they know better than us and have led before us. What youth league comrades need to understand is that insults towards our elders do not make us militant as there is a thin line between anarchy and militancy. We can’t have youth league leaders who wake up just to call press conferences to insult elders within our glorious movement, and who expect us to sit there and clap hands.

The youth unemployment rate is so high in the country and as we go to local elections, we should be rallying all young people behind the banner of the ANC. We should be preoccupied with championing the interests of young people and not with insults that will not advance the National Democratic Revolution (NDR). A few weeks back, students from different universities stood up and defined their mission as this generation as making sure we advance the NDR. We need a youth league that is on the ground, playing its role in society and not calling press conferences to insult leaders who are a voice of reason in the movement. 

Public spats with leaders won’t make us good leaders. The ANC issued a statement, which should have been a guide for all of us as members of the ANC, on the remarks made by former deputy president Motlanthe. One would not expect the youth league to come out in public against the ANC statement on the matter, as the ANC had spoken. The ANC is the oldest liberation movement on the continent and we must never, as members, define ourselves outside the movement and want to be populists. Being young leaders does not mean we must be reckless and bully our elders by saying we are defending the movement. 

We will not sit down and clap hands for those who are showing signs of anarchy in our name as members of the youth league. We must make sure that the rebuilding process continues under the current leadership and that we kill insults and allow constructive criticism that will assist us to reflect on where we are as a movement and what it is that we are doing that is wrong, so we are able to fix our mistakes and make sure we don’t repeat them in future. 

Our focus should be the upcoming local elections and making sure the ANC gets overwhelming support from the youth of our country, as they need to go out in numbers and register to vote for the ANC because it’s the only party that is advancing the NDR. We must make sure that the youth unemployment rate goes down. We, as this generation, must work towards advancing the National Development Plan Vision 2030 and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. We must define our mission and make sure we don’t betray the youth of this country. We must promote patriotism among the youth so that they represent the country well in all spheres of life. We need to produce knowledge and young visionaries who will work towards building the country while appreciating wisdom from our elders.

Aluta Continua!

Rebone Tau is a former national task team member for the ANC Youth League and writes in her personal capacity.

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