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Camp Zenith denies ties to ANCYL “camp”

As per the ANCYL flyer doing the rounds on social media, billed as the inter-zonal and greater Johannesburg ANCYL’s Spring Weekend Camp, the event will take place from August 30 until September 1 at Camp Zenith in Heidelberg.

A flyer circulating online from the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) has been raising eyebrows as it seems to suggest the organisation will be receiving military training at Camp Zenith in Heidelberg. These claims have been denied by a press release from Camp Zenith.

 
As per the ANCYL flyer doing the rounds on social media, billed as the inter-zonal and greater Johannesburg ANCYL’s Spring Weekend Camp, the event will take place from August 30 until September 1 at Camp Zenith in Heidelberg.

 

 

At the upcoming camp, innocent activities such as ‘swimming’ and ‘hiking’ will reportedly be followed by the more militant part of the programme. What has led to the event being questioned, however, is the list of activities on the flyer. It says those who attend will be able to enjoy a weekend of “flag hoisting and lowering,” an “obstacle course,” as well as “swimming, hiking, military training, gun handling and guerrilla tactics.”

 

 

Camp Zenith made a statement on their Facebook page. The camp’s spokesperson Andrew Gunn said: “It has been brought to our attention that the ANCYL intends on having their military training event at our facility.

 

 

“This first came to our attention last week Thursday when a photo of their poster was sent to us by a member of the local community in Heidelberg who happens to be a member of the ANCYL. We would like to state that an inquiry concerning this event was never sent to us from ANCYL, therefore allocation of space and the use of the facility was never permitted. Upon receipt of the poster, we immediately inquired as to the advert and we were told that it was released before talking to us in error and would be corrected.

 

 

“We are not a political organisation nor officially affiliated with any political party. We are simply a venue with a vision to be a catalyst that ignites positive change and promotes development. We are in the community and for the community,” reads the Facebook post.

 

It continues: “The ANCYL never contacted us regarding this event before publishing the event. They never booked our facility and, in fact, our facility was booked months ago for these dates so had they inquired, they would not have received even a quote for the event as advertised.

 

 

“Upon being made aware that the intent is to train citizens for warfare, is definitely against the values of our peace-loving campsite. We are a Christian campsite and our goal and mission is purely for the good of the people of South Africa, and we have never, nor will ever, promote violence or hate speech towards any race in our beautiful land.”

 

 

The campsite was initially approached by a member of the ANCYL about a camp in June, this campsite however was not affiliated with the ANCYL. The member then suggested Camp Zenith to the ANCYL whereupon they immediately rushed to print these flyers without ever contacting the camp themselves.

 

 

The ANCYL sent a formal letter of apology to Camp Zenith on August 1, stating that they never intended the controversy surrounding the planned camp to be blown out of proportion. “We have noted with dismay the exaggeration and blowing out of proportion of what was an innocent program for young people,” General Nkuta (camp organising committee convener) said in the letter.

 

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