Sunday, April 09, 2017

The ANC Youth League Condemns the Use of Funerals for Political Grandstanding
30 March 2017

The ANC Youth League condemns in the strongest possible manner the usage of funerals of our stalwarts for political posturing, point-scoring and grandstanding.

The ANC Youth League is disturbed and angered at the knowledge that ANC President Cde Jacob Zuma was practically barred from attending and mourning at the funeral of Isithwalandwe Ahmed Kathrada. In our statement mourning the passing of this giant of our liberation movement, we remembered the role that Uncle Kathy played as a militant youth leader that fearlessly took on the apartheid machinery head on! We remembered uncle Kathy as part of those who led the defiance campaign, later a Rivonia Trialist who alongside Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life-imprisonment on Robben Island. Instead of learning about this inspirational role of uncle Kathy, those with factionalist lust and suffer from lack of occasion missed the opportunity to educate us about uncle Kathy.

The Chairperson of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has shamelessly used his privileged position as Chair of this foundation to fight his own battles by barring the President from attending the funeral of his own comrade. We respect and applaud President Zuma for respecting the "wishes of the family" and to declare the funeral as a state funeral, however the usage of this funeral to attack the President of the ANC will not be accepted by the ANC Youth League.

Even washed up pensioned politicians who are still to recover from Mangaung hangover have found themselves unable to contain their hatred for the President, they even go to an extend of using a funeral to vent out at the movement.

We want to remind South Africans that it was the ANC Youth League who as early as 2004 pronounced Jacob Zuma as the future President of the ANC and the country when it was not fashionable. It was the ANC Youth League that protected and shielded Cde Jacob Zuma from those who sought to use state power to frustrate his rise to the office of the President. It was the ANC Youth League that played a pivotal role in the election of President Zuma.

It was the ANC Youth League that criss crossed the length and breath of this country and ensured victory for the ANC in 2009 and 2014, it is the ANC Youth League that will continue to rally behind President Zuma until December 2017 ANC Conference and 2019 General Elections.

We want to state it categorically that the ANC Youth League will remain the Family of President Zuma, he is welcomed all the time as a father figure and a struggle icon who played a big role to liberate this country in the ANC Youth League. We reiterate our support for the President fully and unconditionally.

Former Deputy President Kgalema Motlhante once remarked that "when political consciousness leaves, it does not bid farewell" little did we know that we would one day find ourselves searching for his own consciousness when he uses funerals to advance his political views and take swipes at the President.

We are calling on the President to continue discharging his duties unabated (including rearranging and strengthening his cabinet), from now on the ANC Youth League will tackle head on anybody that thinks that they can willy nilly attack the President even using funerals which in African custom have always been sacred, we will one day be forced to physically disrupt those who find comfort in disrespecting the memory of the dead.

Njabulo Nzuza
078 347 6022
Mlondi Mkhize
National Spokesperson
African National Congress Youth League

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