South African Students Congress

Statement on recent contestatons between the ANC YL, YCL & SACP

16 December 2009

The South African Students Congress (SASCO) notes with contempt and disappointment the recent firing of insults back and forth between the ANC YL, YCL and the SACP. We remain shocked and ashamed that leaders within our MDM structures would stoop to this level and fail to resolve their differences in views and opinions in an orderly and organisational manner.

As SASCO we support the call for the nationalization of mines, and seek to see it result in socialization of production and share of proceeds. We are shocked and dismayed by the lukewarm support for nationalization shown by the South African Communist Party (SACP). We raise this because we would have expected the Party of socialism-cum-communism to be over-enthusiastic to find that ultimately, its views have found resonance even in the ranks of the ANCYL. Rather than take advantage of this and enrich the debate, the SACP leadership has become dismissive and overly cautious. We equally reject the populist attempts by the ANCYL to opportunistically and factionally use support or lack of support for nationalization as a yardstick to elect leadership. Leadership cannot be elected on the basis of one issue. We therefore reject the Julius formula of electing leadership, either in the ANC or in the MDM as a whole.

The booing of President Julius Malema in the SACP conference must be condemned and discouraged by all. Whether delegates agree with his conduct or not, they should not threat him, or anyone for that matter in the manner they did. It is the responsibility of all members to utilize organisational platforms to raise their disgruntlements and not howl. It is our collective responsibility to guard our organizations jealously and be examplenary in the manner we conduct ourselves.

With that said it is wrong for the ANCYL without evidence and armed with nothing else but anger to insinuate that the Party leadership orchestrated the booing of comrade Julius in the SACP’s 2ND Special Congress. We therefore condemn the childish manner in which the ANCYL has responded to the booing of Julius Malema in the SACP Conference. Rather than request the Party leadership to act against those who booed at Malema, the ANCYL finds the Party leadership guilty of conspiring with delegates, and as a result declares war on the Party as an organization rather than on the ill-disciplined SACP delegates. If the approach by the ANCYL is correct would it then be correct to blame the previous leadership of the ANCYL for the throwing of chairs and even exposure of buttocks by ANCYL delegates in last years ANCYL National Congress?

We condemn the opportunistic isolation of Comrade Gwede Mantashe by the leadership of the ANCYL. In fact, we believe that the recent criticism of comrade Mantashe for independent actions of SACP delegates is used to mask a well-calculated strategy to isolate comrade Mantashe and present him as an irresponsible Secretary General, whose capacity to lead must be left questionable. By raising the issue of conflict of interest, does the ANCYL really want to suggest that no leader of the ANC must hold positions both in the Party and the ANC? What then of many of its NEC members? If there is nothing wrong with its NEC members as stated in its press briefing, what makes it wrong in relation to comrade Mantashe?

We thank the leadership of the ANCYL for raising issues sharply and ensuring the speedy realization of our Freedom Charter objectives. However, no amount of provocation justifies racist insults at comrades. No amount of disagreement turns comrade Jeremy Cronin (a veteran of our movement) into a mini-Tony Leon that needs to be dismissed at every point as a white chauvinist. The ANCYL needs to desist from making interventions that may leave a permanent scar that will last beyond the current debate such as they did when they called comrade Jeremy Cronin a “white messiah”.

It is unacceptable that the ANCYL describes the leadership of the Party “yellow communists”. Read for what it is, this is calling for an internal revolt against the SACP leadership. Instead of fighting through the media, the SACP and ANCYL must hold an urgent bilateral meeting to compose their differences and chart a way forward. The problems that face South Africans are far-reaching, and need more than anger and egos to resolve.

For details Contact

Mbulelo Mandlana (President)
076 934 9863
Lazola Ndamase (Secretary General)
082 679 8718