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Statement on remarks attributed to ANCYL President Cde Collen Maine
18 October 2016
On Saturday, 15 October 2016, the ANCYL President, Cde Collen Maine, addressed the ANC Ethekwini march, outside the Durban City Hall. The address of the President of the ANCYL prompted some opportunists within the country to allege that some of his statements amounted inciting violence.
As the ANCYL, we do not view the said statements in that way and in particular, we do not view the said statements as amounting to inciting violence.
Section 16 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa affords every person a right to freedom of expression, which right includes the right to impart information and ideas, provided that this right does not extend to inciting imminent violence.
For one to be accused of inciting violence - "violence must be intended, likely and imminent".
The statement made by the President of the ANCYL were taken out of context.
First and foremost, the statement was not directed against any specific person; neither was it intended or directed at any particular person or group of persons.
The President of the ANCYL League does not have the authority to instruct members of the MK Veterans to bring guns. Such authority lies elsewhere, in particular with the President of the MK Veterans.
The President of the ANCYL did not call for any members of the MK Veterans to shoot at any person. Therefore, it cannot be said that he was inciting violence. In anyway, he is incapable of doing so given that he is not the President of the MK Veterans. As a result, the alleged violence is not likely nor in any way imminent.
The ANCYL wishes to put it on record that both itself and its President does not promote violence in South Africa in any form and/or whatever manner.
Attempts to Remove President Zuma from Office
Ironically, the ANCYL has noted the ease with which any person in South Africa today, including leaders of various political organisations and civil society organisations, call for and threaten to remove our democratically elected President of the Republic of South Africa. They make these threats by calling for mass demonstrations and making irresponsible statements in public. In our view, this is tantamount to inciting violence and destabilizing the Republic of South Africa.
We are of the view that there are democratic ways of removing a seating President of the Republic of South Africa, including amongst others, calling for a motion of no confidence and/or impeaching the President in Parliament. The opposition parties have tried and their attempts have failed! As a last ditch, we now see a trend by some in the country to attempt to, indirectly so, remove the President of the Republic of South Africa through the Courts or by inciting violence and instability in the country through mass demonstrations and irresponsible statements in the media. The conduct of most in the country in calling for the removal of the President of the Republic of South Africa in this manner is tantamount to "an attempted pseudo coup".
Security agencies and to a certain extent, MK Veterans must be alive to "any attempted pseudo coup" by some in certain circles of the country who are calling for the removal of a democratically elected President of the Country to be removed despite the current democratic dispensation.
Having noted the above, the ANCYL and its President have noted that the statement by the President was received adversely. It is within this context that the President of the ANCYL will like to unconditionally retract the comments made on Saturday, 15 October 2016, in Durban.
African National Congress Youth League