NO member of the Young Communist League (YCL) will be permitted to join the Friends of the Youth League, YCL general secretary Buti Manamela has said.
“We will not give homage to renegades who want to remain members of the YCL and still be part of a so-called Friends of the ANC Youth League” he said.
Manamela told journalists at a briefing in Cosatu House in Johannesburg yesterday that the formation of the FYL “in our view is an opposition rather than a defence of the former president of the ANC Youth League [ANCYL]”.
The Friends of the Youth League (FYL) was formed soon after ANCYL leader Julius Malema was expelled from the ANC and from the league, although the youth league has insisted that he remains its president.
“Organisations such as Cope and UDM were launched on the same basis, and therefore we cannot allow people within our structures to be part of such quasi-breakaway groups,” Manamela said, but added he was glad to hear Malema saying he would not start his own party.
Manamela defended the YCL’s support of the Friends of JZ before Jacob Zuma became president.
He said that the organisation wasn’t meant to show him as “heroic”. It was merely a way to help Zuma, who was a “victim of state machinations” when he was accused of rape.
Manamela said it would be a joke to compare FYL with Friends of JZ and try to replicate the organisation.
“We are happy that the leaders of the youth league distanced themselves from this,” he said.
He added that Malema had expressed confidence that the ANC’s internal processes would absolve him, and Manamela wished him good luck.
The youth league last week wrote to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe to ask the ANC’s national executive committee to review Malema’s case.
The letter arrived too late to be discussed by the party’s officials and the national working committee before last weekend’s national executive committee meeting.
Manamela also warned against the “rise of personality politics and the hero cult”, which he claimed was foreign to the YCL.
“The many recent attempts at elevating and praise-singing individuals above the organisations must be discouraged with the contempt it deserves. As the YCL we do not subscribe to the notion of super-heroes and celebrity politicians in our structures,” he said.
“This tendency must be especially discouraged amongst young people who have the responsibility of leading these organisations in the future.”