- Press Statements
- 2010 NGC
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Closing Address by ANCYL President, Cde Mokone Collen Maine on occasion of 25th National Congress of the ANC Youth League
6 September 2015, Gallagher, Midrand
Members of the ANC National Executive Committee,
Leadership of the ANC Women`s League, ANC Veterans League
Leaders of the Alliance from SACP, COSATU and SANCO
Leadership of the Progressive Youth Alliance
Our International Allies in the Youth Movement
Comrades and Friends
Fellow South Africans
Compatriots, I must outrightly confess that, standing here today as the newly elected President of the African National Congress Youth League, I never thought it possible some thirteen years ago, when we were rebuilding the structures of the ANC Youth League, back then as a full time organiser in the ANC Youth League, that a day would come when we would be challenged to again rebuild this organisation that we dearly love, at this level of responsibility.
From those years when I became coordinator of MICOCO, during the period of the transitional local government system which transformed municipalities to serve our people better, we are again tasked as young people at this level of responsibility, today, to ensure that we carry the same resolve in ensuring the victory of the ANC in 2016 local government elections, so that our municipalities can continue to serve our people better.
Comrades, we bring you revolutionary greetings on behalf of the newly elected National Executive Committee of the ANC Youth League; a militant and radical organisation of young people and an autonomous wing but integral part of the African National Congress. The names of our founding fathers are foremost in our minds and our hearts, as we close this historic 25th National Congress of the ANC Youth League.
We acknowledge the significance of this historic Congress, having taken place in the month in which the ANC Youth League was born seventy one years ago. This is a month which many cultures that define the rich heritage of our continent, observe and celebrate, as the beginning of seasons.
The significance of this should never be taken lightly, as this lays a challenge to all of us, to ensure that the rains that come with this month, which is celebrated as the beginning of seasons, will indeed inject new blood in our struggle to achieve economic freedom in our lifetime, as we seek to rebuild the ANC Youth League.
When the ANCYL was formed, seven decades ago at the Bantu men`s Social Centre in Johannesburg, the Second World War was close to an end, and Nazism was virtually defeated. However, in South Africa by then, Nazism was on the rise, being propelled by a nonsensical regime of white supremacy. The ANCYL was formed in response to the rampant offensive by apartheid South Africa, to dehumanise and brutally exploit and oppress our people.
When the ANC Youth League was formed it declared its intentions to promote a national consciousness, African Nationalism, to defend and advance the unity of the ANC and to ensure that youth have direct access and influence in the ANC.
Our progressive African nationalism perspective has made the ANCYL throughout history, a reliable ally of the progressive international youth movement for freedom, democracy, peace and justice as well as a loyal and trusted friend of all who are oppressed.
We must honour the legacies of our founding mothers and fathers by ensuring that their history is told correctly and their ideals are articulated in their proper context.
We salute the generation of Anton Lembede, Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, MxolisiMajombosi, William Nkomo, Congress Mbatha, Wilson Conco, Arthur Letele, Bigvail Masekele, Dan Tloome, Peter Mda, Jordan Ngubane, Victor Mbobo, David Bopape and many others who responded to the clarion call for the freedom of our people from apartheid.
These heroes of our people have laid and defined for us the historical twin tasks, that must continue to define and sustain the existence of the ANC Youth League. These twin tasks, Comrades, remain the mobilisation of the youth behind the historic and current mission of the African National Congress, as well as championing the needs and aspirations of the youth of our country.
We have to acknowledge and say it now, that at some point in the life of this progressive organisation of young people, these ideals were trampled upon. New cultures emerged at a certain era, where the radical and militant character of the ANC Youth League was marred with rascalism and anarchy.
Some who had been tasked with the responsibility of leading this organisation saw it fit to lead it astray from its historic twin tasks, in pursuit of populist and selfish, individualistic interests.
Those were counter revolutionary forces with fascist tendencies and they must be told here and now, that they are lost thieves who unashamedly stole our themes and ideas from this very platform and now they want to confuse our people.
We are reclaiming these policy positions as we remind them that we defined for ourselves the revolutionary battle-cry for economic freedom in our lifetime. This revolutionary clarion call was made,here by us. Ideological thieves shall remain thieves! Magodu ba tla nna e le magodu!
Comrades, we must jealously guard against the resurgence of that unfortunate culture in the life of the ANC Youth League.
Along with these thieves, the fascist white minority counter revolutionary forces, have realised that to get closer to our people they have to rent a black face, but in this instance they have rented an Obama mimic and a fake intellectual. The ANC Youth League will ensure that our people are not misled by these desperate attempts.
These are forces that have made it fashionable to themselves, to systematically spew hatred towards the President of the ANC, President Jacob Zumainstead of engaging him as the Head of State. We must be resolute in our defence of the ANC and its leadership, in particular President Jacob Zuma.
In acknowledging the mistakes of our recent past, and as we seek to correct them, inspired by this Congress which concludes its business during the month of the beginning of seasons, we must never be afraid to say to our elders in the ANC, those whom we look upon for guidance and wisdom, that we were wrong!
The autonomy of the ANC Youth League does not exist outside the policies and character of the African National Congress. We cannot define ourselves outside our glorious movement, the African National Congress.
Our journey into the new season for the ANC Youth League, as we conclude the 25th National Congress, is characterised by the historic mission to restore the militancy, vibrancy and radicalism of the ANC Youth League, as we forge ahead with the struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime.
A radical ANC Youth League, Comrades, is one that will not rest until it fully comprehends the full scale of the societal challenges of our day, and does all in its power to confront these challenges that relegatedour young people to being voiceless spectators in their socio-economic development.
A radical ANC Youth League, is one which understands that the implementation of progressive policies, which seeks to advance our course, in confronting the triple challenges of inequality, unemployment and poverty, can only be achieved through the combination of robust intellectual engagement and revolutionary work within our communities.
A radical ANC Youth League will mobilise all sectors of our society, rallying all our people, youth in particular, behind the tasks of constantly seeking solutions to the challenges facing young people, working with them in their communities. A radical Youth League understands that the revolution cannot be loudhailed through populist slogans. We need both scientific analysis of the challenges that face us and a streetwise approach to the revolutionary work that awaits us in our communities.
As we welcome the reminder from Cde President Jacob Zuma, that the ANC Youth League must influence the policy position of the ANC based on history, we make a clarion call for the leadership of the ANC to create a conducive environment for members of the ANC Youth League to effectively play their role within the ANC.
We make a call that all cadres must engage in revolutionary work in our communities. None of us must find comfort, until radical transformation of our society has been achieved. We have a responsibility to go back to basics and remember that the ANC was formed as an organisation of the people, and as such its work must be visible amongst the people.
This work must begin now, and should inform and inspire our campaign towards the 2016 Local Government Elections. Failure to respond to this call will jeopardise the performance of the African National Congress in those elections.
Through disciplined yet robust engagement, we will carry forth the resolutions of the 25th National Congress of the ANC Youth League to the forthcoming National General Council of the ANC,as we ensure that we continue to influence the policy direction of the ANC, particularly on the attainment of economic freedom in our lifetime.
Fearless yet disciplined engagements, through proper structures, is the true definition of our radical character as the ANC Youth League. Without pushing these resolutions through the throat of the ANC, we are confident that our course will triumph. This character of the youth of 1944, will indeed be restored in this new season for the ANC Youth League.
We will continue to engage the ANC on the radical transformation of the current structure of the economy which benefits only a minority. We are resolute that central to the NGC should be strengthening an inclusive youth development machinery. We are yet to fully benefit from the operations of this development machinery. Intervention in this regard, has never been more urgent.
The initial intention of the NYDA was that it would operate in each and every municipality across the country. We need to go back and check if this Agency is still serving the youth as per its original intentions. We need to revisit this structure and ensure that it is responsive to the needs of the youth.
Compatriots, as one emerging from humble origins in the rural village of Taung, we need to reposition the programme of rural development and agrarian reform at the centre for the liberation of Africans in particular and black people in general.
Rural youth must also benefit from programmes that secure them access to education, entrepreneurship, employment and ownership of land and property. We maintain that free education, at all levels, mustbe realisable and fashionable.
As we further seek to go back to basics, we must re-establish Masupatsela A Ga Walter Sisulu Brigade. This initiative will help us to mobilise the 14 years olds, as we seek to inculcate the culture of patriotism, unity and political consciousness amongst them.
Revival of the Friends of the Youth League is paramount for the Youth League to influence youth in the broader society, beyond its traditional base. We must develop a programme to work with the Muslim, Jewish, Afrikaaner, Greek, Hindu, Portuguese, and other minority youth and student formations, amongst others, for the betterment and secured future of South Africa.
This programme will include amongst others, reconciliation, unity, social cohesion, peace and economic prosperity of South Africa and Africa as a whole. The ANC Youth League has a responsibility to reopen affiliation and membership programme for Friends of the Youth League.
The Progressive Youth Alliance has a historical importance to the formation of the ANC Youth League, during our years of transition to democracy. We must all commit ourselves to strengthen and build structures of SASCO, COSAS, Young Christian Students and Young Communist League in every community, learning institution and where possible factory floor.
The Youth League must lead a process to develop a programme of action for the Progressive Youth Alliance in the next three months, with specific focus on dealing with xenophobia, racism and racial tensions within Institutions of Higher Learning, in preparing for the National General Council of the ANC and the oncoming 2016 Local Government Elections.
This Congress was able to discuss and develop a perspective on the challenges faced by PYA in the institutions of higher learning and its loss of SRC elections. We have made an acknowledgement that,this is a cause for serious concern and warrant sober political analyses from all member structures of the PYA. The unity of the PYA is sacrosanct and cannot be over emphasised.
As we continue to work in advancing peace and friendship, we are resolute on strengthening youth structures within the continent and the rest of the global community, working with associations like the World Federation of Democratic Youth and International Socialist Youth Movement, amongothers.
We will continue to participate in programmes that seeks to maximise the impact of international youth exchange programmes and further strengthen party to party relations with our progressive partners on the international platform, particularly within BRICS and South-South partners.
The ANC Youth League will continue to offer its support to youth formations that are operating within oppressive regimes, within the continent and the rest of global society. Central to this task, will be the strengthening of our support to POLISARIO-Front for the total liberation of Western Sahara. Further to that, we must continue to give material, human and other support to Palestine, in support of their strugglefor independence, as we continue to advocate for theTwo-State solution.
South African government must continue to engage with Cuba in maximising the benefits which our youth derives from the medicine, science and technology programmes that is currently in place. We furthermore wish Comandante Fidel Castro sound recovery and good health.
The ANC Youth League will continue to support efforts for peace, democracy and ending conflicts, tribal, ethnic and religious intolerance, particularly in Nigeria, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Somalia and Egypt, to name but a few. We will continue to engage our neighbouring Lesotho for lasting stability in that country.
We must continue to support the transformation of the Britton-Woods Institutions for economic development, growth and sustainability of the continent and the third world at large.
We support the ANC posture on the on the transformation of the International Criminal Court.We must mobilise youth formations in the continent and internationally to support efforts of President Jacob Zuma, to seek more representation for the African Continent in the United Nations Security Council and other multilateral bodies.
We remain concerned about the mushrooming terrorists incidents in Africa and beyond as well as the recent immigration crisis in Africa and countries of the West.
Comrades and friends, as we emerge from the 25th National Congress, we are more inspired to work in unity in rebuilding the ANC Youth League.
We need to remind ourselves that there are no victors nor losers from this Congress. We are equally tasked to work in a collective, towards the rebuilding of the ANC Youth League and the restoration of its true values and character. We must go and disband all lobby groups that may have arisen as we were advancing towards the 25th National Congress.
Leadership has been elected and everyone will be expected to rally behind the elected leadership, in the implementation of the policy positions and programme of action which we have resolved on, in this Congress.
Going towards the 25th Congress, unfortunate tendencies arose where comrades used social media to sow divisions in the ANC Youth League. Instead of abusing this system, we have a responsibility to use social media in advancing and defending the revolution and the interests of youth. May we all be focused towards rebuilding, reuniting, refocusing and reaffirming the centrality of the oldest revolutionary youth movement in South Africa, as it turns 71 years, on the tenth of September.
Another unfortunate phenomenon that has arisen is the attention we pay to ghost issues.
This notion of the Premier League has become a thorn, more so that in some quarters within our alliance structures this matter seems to be given prominence to the point where it is being discussed. The ANC Youth League must question the interests of those comrades in the ANC processes and outcomes, to the point that they have to entertain ghost issues.
Furthermore, we wish to call upon our members to desist from a pattern of resolving political issues through the courts. This has the potential of undermining internal democratic organisational processes, ultimately threatening the life of our organisation.
Comrades, we are conscious of the enormous tasks and responsibilities put upon our shoulders and also conscious of the massive shoes we are stepping in; shoes that have been worn by giants like Anton Lembede, Mxolisi Majombozi, Lulu Johnson, Peter Mokaba, Malusi Gigaba and Fikile Mbalula.
We give special thanks to the work which the National Task Team has put in place to hold together our organisation.
Chairman Mao teaches us that the Guerrilla must move amongst the people, as a fish swims in the sea. He further teaches us that our duty is to hold ourselves responsible to the people. Every word, every act and every policy must conform to the peoples interest, and if mistakes occur, they must be corrected, that is what being responsible to the people means.
We are a product of a revolutionary history. We have forever represented positive vibrant energy in our movement. We were deliberately made weak and we are now ready to go to war. We have offended our own movement, we have made mistakes and we have been misused by counter revolutionary forces. We have learnt from our silly mistakes and we sincerely apologise.
However, we remain young, we remain vibrant, radical and militant and we remain restless in our determination to forge ahead with our revolutionary battles. Be that as it may, we shall never confuse anarchy with militancy and discipline.
Until victory is certain!!