Wednesday, March 31, 2010

ANC Youth League Leader to Visit Zimbabwe

Malema to meet President

Herald Reporter

AFRICAN Natuional Congress Youth League president Cde Julius Malema, who is expected in Zimbabwe on Friday, will meet President Mugabe to get an appreciation of the country’s indigenisation and empowerment drive.

According to a provisional programme released by the Zanu-PF Youth League yesterday, Cde Malema will meet a number of party leaders and address a rally in Harare on Saturday.

Zanu-PF Youth League deputy national spokesperson Cde Cecilia Chivhunga said: "Cde Malema will be accompanied by the league’s deputy secretary-general Cde Steven Ngobeni, treasurer-general Cde Pule Mabe and committee members Cdes Floyd Shivarubu, Kenetswe Mosenogi, Clifford Motsepe, Abner Mosaase, Palesa Notsi and Maropene Ntuli.

"This visit constitutes part of the strengthening of relations with former liberation movements and will provide both the Zanu-PF and ANC youth leagues a platform on building a better Africa and how to empower people.

"The platform will also be used to share ideas on the land redistribution programme, how Zimbabwe and South Africa can benefit from their mining resources, youth empowerment and improving education standards for the young," she said.

Cde Chivhunga said the visit would also be used to raise awareness of South Africa’s hosting of the World Festival of the Youths and Students in December this year.

"We have also arranged for Cde Malema and his delegation to meet Politburo members Cde Absolom Sikhosana (youth affairs), Cde Stan Mudenge (external relations) and Cde Didymus Mutasa (administration) before paying a courtesy call on Harare Metropolitan Governor and Resident Minister David Karimanzira.

"Cde Malema will also meet the Zanu-PF national political commissar Cde Webster Shamu and Cde Saviour Kasukuwere (secretary for indigenisation) before addressing a rally where we are expecting more than 5 000 youths," she said.

Cde Chivhunga said Cde Malema will visit a house that used to accommodate the ANC in Avondale, which was bombed during the apartheid era, and the National Heroes Acre.

In a statement, the ANC added: "The visit will also incorporate the ANC Youth League’s study tour programme of visiting countries that have succeeded or failed with nationalisation of and greater State participation in sectors of their economies.

"The study tours will proceed to China, Chile, Venezuela, Brazil and Cuba."

Cde Malema is a strong proponent of nationalisation of South Africa’s mining, agricultural and economic sector.

ANC defends song


JOHANNESBURG. South Africa’s ruling party yesterday defended the singing of an apartheid-era song with the words "Kill the Boer" in a row that has raised fears of increasing racial polarisation.

The African National Congress dismissed a ruling by a regional high court last week that uttering or publishing the words would amount to hate speech and violate the constitution put in place after the end of white minority rule.

"These songs cannot be regarded as hate speech or unconstitutional," ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe told a news conference. "Any judgment that describes them as such is impractical and unimplementable."

The recent singing of the song by firebrand ANC youth wing leader Julius Malema, who argues that black South Africans have not benefited enough from 16 years of democracy, drew anger from whites and other minority groups.

The lyrics of the song, sung in Zulu, translate as "kill the farmer, kill the Boer", referring to the former ruling white minority.

"Most people realise that this is a struggle song but many whites cannot help but feel that they are being targeted," said Marius Roodt, a researcher at the South African Institute of Race Relations.

"The ANC needs to be sympathetic to the feelings of minorities especially if there is a perception created that they endorse inflammatory statements.

President Jacob Zuma has repeatedly stressed the importance of reconciliation in what became known as the "Rainbow Nation" after the relatively peaceful transition from apartheid.

But the controversy over the lyrics puts the ANC in a difficult position both because of the historic importance of the struggle for South Africa’s majority and Malema’s popularity.

Mantashe said the song was only a means of ensuring South African history was remembered and not meant as an incitement to violence against whites — who make up about a tenth of South Africa’s 50 million population.

The fact that most whites are still far more prosperous than most blacks angers many black South Africans, who feel they have not enjoyed the benefits they expected from ANC rule since 1994.

But Zuma, visiting a shanty town for poor whites outside Pretoria yesterday, stressed the importance of South Africans living together.

"We are a government that is committed to all South Africans, regardless of colour, race or creed," Zuma told the group, part of an estimated 450 000 white South Africans who are estimated to be living in poverty.

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