‘Pravin Gordhan will sell everything – even South Africans’, says ANCYL president

ANCYL leader Collen Malatji has voiced his disapproval over the sale of the South African Airways (SAA).

ANC Youth League (ANCYL) president Collen Malatji has hit out at Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan saying if he is not stopped from selling state-owned companies, he will sell everything, including South Africans.

Malatji spoke during an interview with The Citizen about the ANCYL and some of burning issues in the ANC.

“That one that sells everything is called Pravin. We are not allowing this. We have made our voice clear at the lekgotla.

“One day we’ll wake up and hear that South Africans have been sold to another country [by Gordhan],” he said.

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“We are told he is feared. We don’t fear him. Instead we are going to meet the president and tell him to remove him because South African Airways (SAA) is a good example. We were told SAA is collapsing and all of a sudden there are private partners and there’s an improvement.”

Malatji said selling state-owned entities (SOEs) was selling the pride of the nation and state companies that had been sold should be bought back.

“SAA must be fully owned by the state. You cannot sell the biggest drivers of development. You sell Transnet, Eskom and the airline. People didn’t vote for the ANC to sell, they voted for the ANC to lead on their behalf,” Malatji said.

“They didn’t vote for a private company, they voted for the ANC to govern. The ANC must take full responsibility for all entities and if they are collapsing because of corruption, people must be arrested. We need to rescue them.”

‘Elders are bored’

Asked whether the criticism of the incumbent president Cyril Ramaphosa by former leaders such as Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma was fair, Malatji said the elders were “bored” and needed to be given responsibilities.

“At their age, they should be sitting down and allowing the elected leadership to lead. President Ramaphosa was elected to lead, Mbeki and Zuma were elected to lead, they were respected and they must respect Cyril to lead. When he is done, he must respect the next president.

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“They must not have a hangover of leadership. If they are dissatisfied with how the ANC is doing, I’m sure they have each other’s numbers and can resolve these issues. It’s clear they are not communicating with each other.”

Malatji also weighed in on Zuma’s two-hour jail release after he was one of the over 9 000 prisoners who benefited from a remission of sentence announced by Ramaphosa to low-risk offenders.

“Zuma’s remission was a good decision: he is old, he is a former president of the country, he is a man that served this country during dark days, and he sacrificed a lot for this country. “The political decision made by the president is perfect.”

‘Minister of unemployment’

Malatji publicly criticised Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi during his closing address at the youth league’s 26th national congress in the Free State on 5 August.

He said Nxesi appeared to be the “minister of unemployment” and should be removed.

He was, however, scolded by the ruling party saying that it did not encourage insults towards party members.

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ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, also once a youth league president, sided with the league saying the ANCYL was a “necessary irritation” that should not be censored.

Malatji said he would not stop calling out ministers who are underperforming, even if that meant they had to be discharged from the party.

“I would advise the communication team of the ANC to stop writing statements to call me out. If they have a problem with me, they must call me and we will engage on it,” Malatji said.

“The constitution permits me to criticise where I feel we are misrepresented.”