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Statement by ANC Youth League President Julius Malema, Secretary General Sindiso Magaqa and NEC/NWC member and Spokesperson Floyd Shivambu on the outcomes of the National Disciplinary Committee
14 May 2012
We are here to speak for the first time about the ANC National Disciplinary Committee and National Disciplinary Committee of Appeals processes and ultimate decision to suspend us from the ANC for political purposes. Like the leadership collective of the ANC Youth League, we profoundly disagree with the approach taken by the ANC on the issue of discipline of elected leaders of the ANC Youth League. We have in our capacity as leaders of the ANC Youth League expressed various observations about the entire disciplinary process, particularly around the fact its outcomes were concluded before the process commenced and that the ultimate conclusions and decisions were vindictive and meant to settle political scores. This goes against the Constitution and true values of the African National Congress.
It is unfortunate that the ANC process culminated in suspension and expulsion of the elected leadership of the ANC Youth League. We are aware that even before the ANC Youth League 24th National Congress; there were attempts to prevent the election of the leadership currently leading the ANC Youth League, and a commitment to find ways to purge us from the ANC Youth League. We are also aware that there were intentions to isolate the leadership of the ANC Youth League and deny us the opportunity to lead the organisation as a militant, autonomous and integral body of opinion in the ANC. The refusal by the leadership of the ANC to meet with the ANC Youth League leadership even after we had begged for meetings and publicly withdrawn the statement that led to our charges is a proof enough that the intention of the NDC was to achieve something else, not discipline in the ANC.
There is completely no doubt that the there were wrong political intentions in pursuing the disciplinary process. We have brought to the leadership of the ANC the many instances of irregularities by the ANC National Presenter, who wrote emails declaring that the NDC process sought to achieve political intentions. We brought to the attention of the ANC leadership the many instances where members of the NDC and NDCA, most of whom were conflicted deliberately violated process to reach different conclusions. This is evidenced by the kind of sanctions and sentences meted out by the NDC and NDCA, which were clearly disproportionate to what was said to be violations of the ANC Constitution. The Cyril Ramaphosa NDCA ignored the fact that in some cases there was remorse displayed in the mitigating process, and even passed an effective sentence against ANCYL Secretary General, even after he apologized as instructed by the NDC within the 15 days.
Our application for some members to recuse themselves from the NDC and NDCA was correct, because the attitude and decisions of these committees are evidence that the aim was to settle political scores and suppress dissent. These committees turned a blind eye on lots of information submitted and presented to them, and only emphasized and dwelled on issues that would get us suspended and expelled from the ANC. The reality is that we are expelled and suspended for articulating positions of the ANC Youth League, which were taken in the 24th National Congress of the ANC Youth League. In more than one occasion, the ANCYL NEC and members have re-affirmed that what we were charged and expelled for are decisions of the collective. ANC Youth League NEC members even came to the NDC to present these facts, but these were ignored because the target was individuals.
We subjected ourselves to the disciplinary process because we believed that the ANC will apply consistency on principle and issues of discipline. It appears very apparent that issues of principle only apply to certain individuals differently. In KwaZulu Natal, ANC members and regions have been discussing and nominating leadership for the ANC 53rd National Conference and no one has taken these comrades to a disciplinary process. Members of the ANC in KwaZulu Natal have publicly threatened to take away our lives and subject us to firing squads, and not even a single word to condemn these came from the ANC. Many violations of the ANC Constitution have happened and continue to happen and the leadership is turning a blind eye.
We were publicly chastised, and many things said about us and we believe it is because of the political and ideological views we hold on the future of the ANC and the country. Because of changed material conditions and consistent failure of the democratic government to address the question of poverty and unemployment decisively, we hold and continue to hold the view that the ANC should be more radical and more decisive in dealing with the question of economic transformation. We stand firm behind the pillars for economic freedom in our lifetime and will utilize all platforms we have to advocate for radical economic change.
The ANC Youth League National Executive Committee has brought to our attention that consistent with many resolutions taken by the National Executive Committee, they will not release us from our elected responsibilities in the ANC Youth League. We are also aware that the leadership collective of the ANC Youth League is currently engaged in a process of seeking a sustainable political solution with the leadership of the ANC. We believe that the leadership collective will come with a sustainable political solution. We remain loyal to the ANC, and know that it is only the ANC that will bring about real transformation and economic change that will benefit all people.
Because we are political activists and Economic Freedom Fighters, we will continue to engage society and members of the South African society behind the struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime. We will continue to address public meetings, rallies, and seminars in pursuit of economic freedom in our lifetime. We will continue to engage and persuade members and leaders of the ANC to reach different conclusions on the issue of discipline and how the ANC should work with the ANC without perception of divisions and hostility. We have total confidence in the leadership of the ANC Youth League, under the stewardship of Deputy President Ronald Lamola and Deputy Secretary General Kenetswe Mosenogi, and we call on all members and structures of the ANC Youth League to remain solid behind the leadership collective.
Suppression of political dissent through disciplinary process and usage of institutions of the State will never do any good to the African National Congress; such will instead hurt the movement. Anyone who suggests that as youth of the ANC, we are beyond correction and guidance is not telling the truth. The ANC has never given up on rehabilitation of its members. We always seek political and ideological guidance from the ANC leadership, and because we are youth, we also hold opinions on how the movement should grow and be better positioned to build sustainable livelihoods for all South Africans.
The decision of the ANC Secretary General to write to regions and provinces of the ANC saying that we are banned from going to offices and meetings of the ANC, even those opened to everyone is a sign that those executing the decisions of the NDC and NDCA are not convinced by the justice of their own decisions. ANC Offices and Public meetings are attended by everyone, and it will never be correct to ban comrades from associating with the organisation they love. This reflects the fear of the youth and fear of the youth is a direct threat to the future of the ANC and the country. We will remain loyal to our decisions and to ourselves in pursuit of the struggle, and we will stop at nothing to achieve economic freedom in our lifetime.
We want to thank the continued support we receive from many members of the ANC and South African society, and the solidarity we receive from international organizations and progressive formations. We appreciate all forms of organised support from all people who associate with the struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime and we will always be available to address and participate in the platforms they create. We appreciate the many messages of support we receive everyday from ordinary members of the ANC, and encourage many others to be fearless because fear will not build a strong movement.
Issued by the ANC Youth League