‘When you leave ANC, don’t throw a party’ – ANCYL president criticises veterans ‘behaving like prefects’
'It's not our fault that we were not born during the eighties,' the ANC Youth League said.
ANCYL president Collen Malatji. Picture: Nigel Sibanda
African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) president Collen Malatji has seemingly hit back at former ANC veteran Mavuso Msimang following his resignation from the ruling party.
Last week, Msimang announced he was dumping the ANC, citing South Africa’s stagnant economy and corruption, among others, as some of the reasons behind his decision to leave the governing party after six decades of being a member.
Msimang, who was the deputy president of the ANC’s Veterans League, had been a vocal critic of his now-former party.
‘Don’t renew ANC membership’
Speaking during a media briefing at the Albert Luthuli House in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Malatji criticised Msimang’s attack on the ANC in his resignation letter.
“When you leave the ANC, [which] is a voluntary organisation, you don’t announce it [or throw] a party and call press briefings. Just don’t renew [your] membership and not participate, but when you are sent to damage they even give you media spaces to speak about why you are leaving the ANC,” he said.
He noted that people who are considered revolutionists “changed with time” after returning from exile and suggested that there were those “behaving like prefects in the ANC”.
“Anyone who leaves the ANC making noise, that person is leaving to join a program to remove the ANC out of power,” he continued.
Malatji reiterated that people were welcome to leave the ANC because “we are not here for individuals”.
“Those who still call themselves veterans, if they leave the ANC, they lose those credentials,” the ANCYL leader later said.
He added: “It’s not our fault that we were not born during the eighties.”
Watch the briefing below:
Malatji further defended ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula amid his apparent fallout with Msimang.
“He is a product of the congress movement. A well-trained leader, he is not a poet. The [secretary-general] of the ANC is trained to implement the resolution of the ANC.
“He is a former [secretary-general] and president of the youth league. How do you say somebody who have been in the ANC for all of these years the bar has been lowered by electing him? As the youth league, we will defend the ANC with everything that we have.”
Mbalula had slammed ANC veterans for constantly criticising the ruling party just hours before Msimang’s resignation letter was made public.
He called on the veterans to stop “de-campaigning” the ANC and work through the organisation’s structures.
“Day and night, veterans and stalwarts have led a charge on this organisation. They are attacking and de-campaigning our movement as we face difficulties,” Mbalula said last Thursday.
The ANC’s Veterans League has taken issue with Mbalula’s utterances, with the party’s president Snuki Zikalala saying the elders were not undermining the organisation for speaking out on corruption.
Mbalula has refused to apologise for his comments.