Saturday, October 24, 2015

ANCYL, YCL Clash Over Nzimande
October 22 2015 at 11:25am

Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande trying to address student protesters at Parliament on Wednesday. File picture: Bertram Malgas

Pretoria - A row has erupted between the tripartite alliance’s youth wings over the call for Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to resign in the midst of student protests over university fee increases.

The ANC Youth League in Gauteng has called on Nzimande to resign as minister, saying he had failed in his mandate to start the process of ensuring free education and transforming the higher education sector.

The call for the resignation of Nzimande, who is also the leader of the SA Communist Party, has been dismissed by the Young Communist League (YCL) as part of the internal battles in the ANC ahead of its elective conference in 2017.

The SACP in Gauteng has also joined the fray, saying there is a “clear and well-orchestrated mobilisation to engineer a counter-revolution, project government in a bad light, locally and internationally, and to isolate, scapegoat and target (Nzimande)”.

“The attempt to besiege parliament yesterday is a deeply worrying alien phenomena. It corresponds only to the frenzied wishes of elements that are irreconcilably hostile to the SACP, its General Secretary Cde (Comrade) Nzimande and the working class struggle for socialism,” SACP’s Gauteng provincial secretary Jacob Mamabolo said on Thursday.

YCL spokesman Khaya Xaba said calling for Nzimande to resign showed that the ANCYL did not understand the issues at play as Nzimande does not have the power to unilaterally implement free education.

He said the league was being opportunistic and were part of the anti-communist sentiments within the ANC.

“These clowns (ANCYL) are just opportunists using the students’ genuine protests over fees for factional interests in the ANC because 2017 is around the corner.

“This is a way of trying to deal with Nzimande, and we know that it comes from sectors like the Premier League, unfortunately it is not going to happen,” said Xaba.

ANCYL Gauteng Matome Chiloane said it was unfortunate that the YCL had become Nzimande’s “defensive grouping” instead of defending the country’s youth.

“This has nothing to do with 2017, that is the matter for the ANC. The issue here is that what is happening now is because since 2009 Nzimande has done nothing to even initiate a discussion around free education at varsity, even on transformation he has failed.

“There is not even a paper or discussion document on the concept of free education that he has produced,” said Chiloane.

Cosatu has also threatened to strike in support of the students struggle against university fee increases.

“This struggle for a just and equitable situation in education should be continued by all students across the country and we as Cosatu will support them, because it mainly affects working class students.

“Cosatu will consider strike action against the State to compel a resolution to the funding crisis and general state of education in South Africa,” said Cosatu Western Cape provincial chairman Motlatsi Tsubane.

Nzimande no Father Christmas‚ says Cosatu

Sam Mkokeli
21 October, 2015 15:31

As Cosatu we are totally opposed to both the deification and vilification of individuals‚ because we know that solutions to our problems will come from the collective leadership and not messiahs.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has defended Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande‚ who has been under siege as university students across the country continue to protest against fee increases.

"Minister Nzimande is not Father Christmas‚ who will deliver free education‚ but that is the responsibility of the entire ANC-led government‚" said Cosatu spokesman Sizwe Pamla in a statement on Wednesday.

While the union federation said it supported the student campaign as a matter of principle‚ Pamla said they were opposed to the “opportunistic attacks" directed at Nzimande.

"The responsibility of delivering free education and fix the apartheid faultlines that have led to the current situation cannot be left at the door of one individual‚ who is subject to the decisions of both Treasury and the cabinet‚” said Pamla.

"As Cosatu we are totally opposed to both the deification and vilification of individuals‚ because we know that solutions to our problems will come from the collective leadership and not messiahs. We want and expect no messiahs and we will also allow for no opportunistic fishing for traitors or villains by smear merchants‚ in this important debate about free education."

Pamla said South Africa's economic and political problems stemmed from a number of causes‚ including "the persistent global capitalist crisis‚ the socioeconomic polarisation that is taking place in our society‚ and the ongoing weakening of the economy as a result of external and internal factors".

"The biggest mistake that some people make is to believe that for them to demonstrate their independence and leadership‚ they need to shout insults and slogans. Leadership demands more than that and the current injustices will not be defeated or fixed by throwing insults and indulging in obsolete bravado. It will take disciplined mobilisation of society‚ focused and purposeful dialogue and collective action."

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