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Women’s political participation not an act of charity

By  Blessing Vava    File picture: Is engaging Kenyan women in security affairs the key to creating better policies? Photo: Mari...

Thursday, 16 February 2012


16 February 2012

Still in charge-ANC YL President Julius Malema
the Lekotla Confrence
The ANC Youth League held its National Executive Committee Lekgotla between the 9th and 12th of February 2012 at the Saint George Conference Centre, in Tshwane. The NEC Lekgotla was attended by delegates of the ANC Youth League from regional, provincial and national executive committees from across length and breadth of South Africa. The Lekgotla was opened on the 9th of February by ANC Youth League President Julius Malema. The opening address was open to the media, broadcast live on some of the television channels and the text of the opening address circulated to all structures of the ANC YL and members of the media.

The National Executive Committee Lekgotla received informative, incisive and dynamic inputs from the leadership of the ANC and progressive forces, particularly Comrades Kgalema Motlanthe, Gwede Matashe, Thandi Modise, Lindiwe Sisulu, Blade Nzimande, Angie Motshekga, Febe Potgietier, Enoch Godongwana, Thaba Mafumadi, Professor Muxe Nkondo and Paul Jordan on various topical issues. These topical issues included, but not limited to presentations and discussions on 1) the land question, 2) relationship between the ANC Youth League and the ANC, 3) The state of Higher Education in South Africa, 4) meaning of celebrating 100 years of the ANC, 5) report on the National research report, 6) Military Youth Service, the State of basic education and the ANC Strategy & Tactics.

Out of the Lekgotla received from the leadership collective of the ANC Youth League National Executive Committee on the charges brought against the leadership of the ANC YL, the Lekgotla deducted, noted and accepted the following observations:
Song and dance: ANC Youth League treasurer Pule Mabe, left, and  league president Julius Malema sing popular Struggle song Solomon at the organisation s lekgotla at St George s Hotel in Irene, Pretoria.
a.      The entire process of the disciplinary proceedings of the ANC was politically motivated and meant to resolve political struggles and battles within the ANC. Some in the ANC believe that by removing certain leaders of the ANC YL, they will successfully suppress and undermine the political and ideological struggles of the ANCYL, particularly on Nationalisation of Mines and Expropriation of Land without Compensation or will be guaranteed re-election into leadership positions in the ANC.
b.      There is no consistency of discipline in the ANC, because if there was any form and sense of consistency, there have been disrepute brought to the ANC by many amongst its leadership and there was no action that was taken.
c.       The refusal of those leaders of the ANC to recues themselves from the proceedings of the NDC had prejudiced the charged comrades.
NO LAUGHING MATTER: ANC Youth League president  Julius Malema, left, 
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, centre,
 and league secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa in Pretoria on Friday. 
d.      The conviction of the leadership of the ANC Youth League was purely as a result of the statements and official positions of the ANC Youth League adopted by the 24th National Congress and endorsed by the National Executive Committee in its first post 24th National Congress meeting.

The ANC Youth League NEC Lekgotla confirmed that the statements and articulations, which the President of the ANC Youth League is convicted for is the statement of the ANC Youth League emanating from the 24th National Congress and the National Executive Committee which concluded on the 31st of July 2011.

Lekgotla further confirmed that the statement which the Secretary General is convicted for is also a statement of the ANC Youth League, released to the media through the normal channels of the ANC Youth League. We further confirm that the statement which the Spokesperson of the ANC Youth League is convicted for is a statement of the ANC Youth League and that the Spokesperson’s name was included on the statement as a contact person. On the other issue affecting the Spokesperson, the Lekgotla accepted that the internal process that he was subjected to is adequate, despite the fact that the information he was found guilty was illegally obtained by the concerned Journalist.

In view of all these realities, the NEC Lekgotla stands by the view that the leadership of the ANC Youth League as elected by the 24th National Congress of the ANC Youth League will never be removed by any process that does not include the structures and membership of the ANC Youth League. It is only the internal process of the ANC Youth League that can decide to elect or un-elect leadership of the ANC Youth League. The ANC Youth League will never agree that its leadership be subjected to unfair and unjust treatment or banished for narrow political purposes. In this regard, the leadership of the ANC Youth League as elected by the 24th National Congress of the ANC Youth League remains in office as elected members of the ANC YL National Executive Committee of the ANC Youth League. 

We believe that the ANC carries an obligation to educate and guide the ANC Youth League on all critical policy issues and not persecute the leadership for articulating the policy positions of the ANC Youth League. The leadership of the ANC Youth League stands guilty of articulating policy positions that the ANC has the power to disapprove. The reality of the situation is that the charges brought against the leadership of the ANC Youth League are based on political developments and realities and it is only a political discussion and solution that can bring the differences to rest.

The NEC Lekgotla further noted that in his opening address, President Julius Malema said he is ready to resign if we as structures of the ANC Youth League say so. All leaders of regional, provincial and national executive committees of the ANC Youth League across the country rejected the offer of ANC YL President to resign his position as President of the ANC Youth League. The leadership collective elected at the 24th National Congress will thereforeremain in office until the 25th National Congress of the ANC Youth League in June 2014. No leadership of the ANC Youth League which has been mandated by the National Congress will resign their positions until the next Congress. There is no Constitutional basis on the ANC Youth League that allows for removal of leadership of the organisation through a process that do not include the structures and members of the ANC Youth League.

We call on the leadership of the ANC to respect the will of the people and members of the ANC Youth League. There should never be any committee that removes the leadership that was elected uncontested without the consent and agreement of the people. The foreign tradition of trying to remove the leadership of an elected structure of the ANC Youth League without the consent by the people should be nipped in the bud, because if committees remove leaders of the ANC Youth League, they will one day appoint leaders of the ANC Youth League. That will be a complete undermining of the will of the people.

The NEC Lekgotla re-emphasised these central points in the struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime:
·         On higher education and training, we emphasise the need the expand the post secondary education and training opportunities, because a growing number of young South Africans desperately seek education and need to be admitted into institutions of higher learning to attain skills, education and expertise. We further re-emphasise our call for the long over-due introduction of free quality education for the poor until undergraduate degree as resolved by the 52nd National Conference of the ANC in December 2007.
·         As youth of the ANC, we appreciate the National Youth Service programme and the Military Skills Development System spearheaded by the Department of Defence and Military Veterans. We however believe that these programmes and interventions should be intensified to accommodate as many students and young people as possible due to the extent of the necessity for skills, training and education amongst South Africa’s youth. We further believe that beyond provision of skills, education and expertise to the youth, the Department of Defence should expedite the transformation of the defence industry and economy as it is predominantly white and only benefits the previously advantaged and discriminately preferred communities.
·         As young people of the African National Congress, we accept the view that an urgent political intervention to the land question is needed. The massive land disparities in South Africa are not only depressing, but poses a serious danger to the continued stability of South Africa, particularly between those who own the land those who do not own. It will soon not be unjustifiable for the landless South Africans to take land from those who own without consensus. Land is the means to life and constitutes the most important component in the struggle for total economic, social and political emancipation of the dispossessed, deprived and devastated majority of South Africans.
·         As youth of the ANC, the Lekgotla expressed concern over the growing disunity of the African continent, particularly the fact that Africa’s division lines are on the basis of each country’s former coloniser. Africans should recognise and appreciate the fact that above the so called Francophone and Anglophone divide as reflected in the recent African Union Commission Chairperson elections, there is a common need for all Africans to unite to defend the political independence and freedom of our countries. The political independence and freedom of all African countries guarantees our common progress, economic integration and total liberation from imperialist, neo-colonial and capitalist domination of majority of African countries. 
·         The NEC Lekgotla re-affirmed the Freedom Charter’s clarion call that the people shall share in the country’s wealth, particularly the revolutionary commitment that the mineral wealth beneath the soil, monopoly industry and banks shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole. This clarion call underpins our commitment to the struggle for nationalisation of mines and other strategic sectors of the economy. The research report on the State Intervention in the Minerals sector as commissioned by the ANC Secretary General in 2011 does not in any way respond to the ideological and political directive of the ANC National General Council whose resolution read as follows, “There was greater consensus in the commission on the nationalisation of mines and other strategic sectors of the economy. The NGC therefore mandated the NEC to ensure further work be done, including research, study tours and discussions, and to report to the Policy Conference for decision at National Conference in 2012”.

·         As youth of the ANC, who respect its democratic tradition and character, we believe that that manner and approach in which the research was conducted and concluded does not in any way respond to the ANC NGC resolution. On that basis, we conclusively reject the research report as it did not do what the NGC said should be done. We will soon compile concrete facts and data on how the many countries that have nationalised their strategic sectors of the economy generate additional income into the fiscus and utilise it for the development of the people and protection of future generations through creation of sovereign wealth funds.

The ANC Youth League wishes to distance itself from the highly circulated video footage of a closed session of the ANC Youth League Lekgotla. The ANC Youth League will seek legal advice on the legal recourse and will further conduct its own internal investigations on where the video emanates from. We further place it on record that the President of the ANC Youth League has full confidence in his legal team, no one imposed the legal team on him and if there were any kind of problems, he could have easily walked away.

The ANC Youth League will continue to engage the leadership and structures of the ANC in the course to find long lasting political solution to all problems confronting the National Liberation Movement. We believe that at the end of the day, what binds the leadership of the ANC and ANC Youth League together is the need to achieve the aims of the Freedom Charter. We will continue to mobilise all branches and structures of the ANC to rally behind the call for nationalisation of mines and expropriation of land without compensation. ASIJIKI! Victory is Certain!


Monday, 13 February 2012

When the little ones are sacrificed as pawns-as Solo Madzore seems to have been forgotten

By Blessing Vava
The forgotten MDC-T youth Chairperson Solomon  Madzore
during happier times with his brother Hon P.Madzore
Usually in a game of chess, the pawn is the  smallest and weakest piece, historically representing infantry, or more particularly armed peasants. Both players  have eight pawns each and usually  are positioned in the frontline, and their role is to protect the King and his Kingdom.  And most a times pawns are often sacrificed to protect the King and usually pawns are the ones that are lost the most during the course of the game. In politics its mainly the youth that are sent out for riskiest  jobs, as the older generation are holed up in the comfort of their offices. Typical of pawns, the young people are thrown at the frontline of the struggle and are mostly the biggest victims. ZANU PF is a classic example. The party introduced the Border Gezi youth training to instigate violence. After that most of the youths were dumped and are now living as paupers.The case of Julius Malema and the ANCYL, who catapulted  Zuma to power , defended him during his rape and corruption case and later thrown out of the party by  Zuma, is another living example. To say the least, the MDC seems to have copied ZANU PF's style of using the youth and dump them when there are done.

Wining with the devil
Iron Lady-Theresa Makone-Home
Affairs co-Minister tried to force
the release of ZANU PF's Mutasa jailed
65% percentage of the country’s total population are below 35years and they play a very important role in political processes, but are often used by the older generation and marginalised at the end of the day.  Often referred to as the vanguard, young people continue to be used and abused by politicians who care for nothing else but their fat pockets and selfish gains.

Never visited Madzore-MDC-T President
Morgan Tsvangirai
The case of  jailed MDC Youth chairperson Solomon Madzore,  arrested on the 4th of October on trumped-up murder charges of a policeman in Glen View last year has really touched my heart. Since October, Madzore has been fighting for freedom but has been denied bail on several attempts. My worry and disappointment is mainly targeted at the MDC-T leadership for their lack of concern  and the way they have handled the Madzore’s case so far. Firstly, by now, shockingly Morgan Tsvangirai has not yet paid a visit to Madzore in prison, Solo is no ordinary party activist but his youth chairperson. I’m sure Madzore is wondering why his president has not paid him a visit 3 months in custody. I doubt if these guys are looking after his wife and family. It’s quite obvious that Madzore feels betrayed and will come out of Chikurubi a disappointed man because it seems these guys have turned their backs on him. During the incarceration of MDC treasurer, the MDC threatened to pull out of government demanding his immediate release, and surprisingly one wonders how Bennett’s case is different from Madzore’s.

Exiled MDC-T treasurer Roy Bennet, the MDC
threatened to pull out of government demanding his release
Secondly, to much surprise was Tsvangirai’s leaked letter to Mugabe, which he made no reference of Madzore when he was complaining  about arrests targeted at MDC officials. Instead, he referred to the cases of Timba and Makone, both ministers and surprisingly they spent a few days in custody unlike Madzore and crew who are now clocking four months in custody. So does it also mean that Ministers are special beings than others Mr Prime Minister?  Thirdly, its Theresa, the co-Minister of Home Affairs, who at one time accompanied ZANU PF’s Mutasa to the police station trying to use her powers to force the release the latter’s son out of custody. One wonders why she has not attempted to do so in the case of Solo?

Fourthly, the MDC Youth Assembly’s Free Solo Madzore campaigns seems insincere. They attempted a demo in Bulawayo and did one in Masvingo. My question is why Bulawayo and Masvingo first? Madzore is detained in Harare not Bulawayo or Masvingo.  One wonders their sincerity nor motive regarding these so-called Free Madzore campaign of theirs? Logic would tell you that the first if not most protests should be done here in Harare.  Madzore is detained in Harare he attends court in Harare and so we expect the leadership of the youth assembly to do more in demanding the release of their leader here in the capital rather than small cities. Rather than do silly processes meant to fatten their pockets using the name of their leader.

Therefore, i wish to make an emotional plea to the entire MDCT leadership principally Morgan Tsvangirai not to segregate especially key members of his party if they are arrested. We do expect him to amplify his voice regarding Madzore’s arrests rather than speaking as if his Ministers are super beings than others.  I wonder why the MDC leadership seems to  care less because of their suspicious silence? Does he really deserve to be suffering like this? The Youth Assembly is a critical component in the party and Tsvangirai should be aware. They will be an election soon therefore I encourage all the youths not to be used as pawns by these selfish politicians but also demand and take up leadership roles and positions.   We have all seen how a majority of the young people who worked tirelessly during the 2008 election have been dumped without anything of benefit to improve their livelihoods whilst the big politicians seem to have found comfort in the extravagant shaky inclusive government.

Blessing Vava writes from Harare and can be contacted on blessingvava@gmail.com, this article was first published on blevava.blogspot.com