Youth league marches against xenophobia

Members and supporters of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) were the latest to take to the streets of Johannesburg in a show of opposition to the recent wave of violence against foreign nationals.

MARCHING AGAINST XENOPHOBIA: ANCYL members marched and sang songs along the streets of Johannesburg in solidarity against the recent xenophobic attacks, on April 24 2015. Photo: Tanisha Heiberg

MARCHING AGAINST XENOPHOBIA: ANCYL members marched along the streets of Johannesburg in solidarity against the recent xenophobic attacks, on April 24. Photo: Tanisha Heiberg

A group of African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) members and supporters marched in the streets of Johannesburg against xenophobic attacks yesterday afternoon.

The march of around 100 people started on the iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge and made its way to the Yeoville Recreation Centre in Johannesburg.

A truck with loud speakers played songs of unity and led the supporters wearing ANC colours and waving flags and banners in solidarity against the recent attacks.

Boards bearing the hashtag #stopxenophobia, read “This is not what we fought for” and “An injury to one is an injury to all”.

“For us to realize the full potential of Africa we need to be united.”

The league’s provincial spokesperson Mbali Hlophe said the march comes from the rise of Afrophobic attacks that have taken place throughout the country and the need to unite all Africans.

ANCYL MARCH: Member's of the ANCYL marching to Yoeville Recreational Centre in support against xenophobia. Photo: Riante Naidoo

THE YOUTH  MARCH: Member’s of the ANCYL marching to Yoeville Recreational Centre in support against xenophobia. Photo: Riante Naidoo

“Whilst we acknowledge the societal ills that are taking place, we are saying to you redirect your energy because attacking each other isn’t going to work nor is it going to get you a job the next day,” Hlophe said.

Lehlohonolo Thatho, a learner at a Johannesburg school, said, “There are some learners from outside the country who don’t feel safe to go to school, so we have to say no to xenophobia.”

An energized crowd toyi-toyi’ed and sang anti-xenophobia songs as they made their way through the streets whilst attracting crowds of spectators from the buildings and shops along the route.

‘Do it for Chris Hani’ say protesters at ‘Vote NO’ campaign launch

WE SAY NO: ANCYL and SACP members gathered outside the location of the launch in protest against it.

WE SAY NO: ANCYL and SACP supporters  gather outside the launch of the ‘Vote NO’ campaign in protest of it. Photo: Rofhiwa Madzena

The launch of a campaign calling for South Africans to spoil their vote in the upcoming national elections attracted a small protest from political parties at Wits today. 

The  Sidikiwe Vukani! [We are fed up! Wake up!] campaign, formed by African National Congress (ANC) stalwarts Ronnie Kasrils and Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge was formally inaugurated at a small launch held at the campus in Braamfontein. 

Joined by Wits senior lecturer Vishwas Satgar, the group were called ‘traitors’ by protesters who were kept outside of the launch venue by Campus Control security officers.

Satgar, a lecturer in International Relations, said he and the other former ANC members were accused of slander, of attacking on the democracy and treason.

He added that the criticism was expected: “We welcome this as it is in the spirit of [a] democratic debate”. He also said: “If you vote for the ANC you vote for the Guptas who are parasites in the country”.

[pullquote]“I think he undermines the intellectual capacity of South Africans.”[/pullquote] 

WE'RE LISTENING: ANC veterans Ronnie Kasrils, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge and Vishwas Satgar listen to a question asked by a journalist about the new campaign

WE’RE LISTENING: ANC veterans Ronnie Kasrils, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge and Vishwas Satgar listen to a question asked by a journalist about the new campaign. Photo: Rofhiwa Madzena 

A statement released by the campaign read: “We want a just, fair and egalitarian society as promised society as promised in the freedom charter and clarified in The Constitution and the Bill of Rights.” The campaign calls on voters who are disgruntled with the ruling party to either spoil their vote or vote for a minority party.

Kasrils said the ANC cannot be reformed from the inside: “There is a need to speak up and not speak within the organisation.”

Kasrils was speaking inside the South West Engineering building at Wits while members of ANC, SACP (South African Communist Party), COPE, and Agang protested the launch from outside.

Secretary of the ANCYL (African National Congress Youth League), Yamkela Fanisi said “the issue of spoiling votes is not going to necessarily assist anyone, in fact, it’s not going to contribute to the development of this country … the idea of saying that people must spoil is recklessness and irresponsible of an old person like him [Ronnie Kasrils].”

Fanisi added: “I think he undermines the intellectual capacity of South Africans.”

Wits Vuvuzela spoke to political analyst Professor Daryl Glaser, head of the Politics Department at Wits, about the significance of the campaign in the run-up to the national elections on May 7.

Glaser said people are disillusioned with Zuma’s ANC and don’t really know where to put themselves or where to place their votes. He said the campaign more aimed at regular ANC voters. “Its aim is to try to punish or discipline the ANC into becoming the ANC that these campaigners want it to be.”

Glaser said he is sceptical about the effect of the campaign on the ANC and the impact will depend on which people spoil their votes at the polls.

The launch was attended by about 100 people with about 60 people protesting outside the venue.

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Juju recruits comrades at Wits

By Thuletho Zwane and Ray Mahlaka

JULIUS Malema’s new political party is targeting Wits to gain more supporters.

Witsie and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) executive member, Innocent Thombothi, Political Science and International Relations Honours, said that Witsies were showing interest in the EFF.

“We do have supporters on campus. Most [of them] are people in the SRC, ANCYL and the YCL [Young Communist League], and members of the PYA [Progressive Youth Alliance],” Thombothi said.

He said it was difficult for “comrades” to come out and admit they were members or supporters of the EFF because they still had to serve their elected official terms in their respective organisations.

“They are still deployed in the PYA. There’s a conflict of interest. Maybe after the PYA elections  [in August]. Most can’t disclose now. EFF is here, it is in Wits,” Thombothi said.

The EFF is a “radical and militant” political movement founded by former ANC Youth League President Malema.

It is a leftist movement whose policies include land expropriation without compensation, nationalisation of the banks and national resources, free education and health and opening South African borders to Africans.

[pullquote]”We do have supporters on campus. Most [of them] are people in the SRC, ANCYL and the YCL [Young Communist League], and members of the PYA [Progressive Youth Alliance]” [/pullquote] SRC treasurer, Justice Nkomo, however, said the EFF had no support at Wits. He said the EFF  was holding an event at Wits but had to cancel it because most Witsies attended a talk by ANC secretary-general  Gwede Mantashe.

“They wanted to infiltrate. If EFF was strong, they would be able to influence our own people,” Nkomo said.

“Those people who have crossed have always been politically irrelevant.”

Trevor Mkhawana, 2nd year Mining Engineering, said he knew a lot of people who support the EFF. “They believe in Malema. They got disillusioned by Zuma.”

Witsie Mabhoko Mojela said if the EFF won the 2014 elections, SA would turn into a banana republic.

“[But], the presence of Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, [EFF spokesperson] allows me to give EFF the benefit of the doubt. I trust his intellectual opinions and the good work he has done in the student organisations on campus.”

Puleng Tsehla, 2nd year Media Studies, from Lesotho, said she supports the EFF because the new party promotes open boundaries in Africa.

She said South Africans are always welcome in other African countries.

Other Witsies in the EFF include Floyd Shivambu who is studying his MA in political studies, Andile Mngxitama who has completed an MA in sociology and Ndlozi, a PhD politics candidate.

Related articles:

Just EFF’ing around? July 19, 2013

UJ says no to EFF  July 29, 2013

[VIDEO] Do Witsies know the EFF? July 19, 2013

Wits DASO and Wits ANCYL respond to sexual harassment allegations

Wits Vuvuzela has received two official statements in response to the current investigation into allegations of rape and sexual assault against senior lecturer in Drama Tsepo wa Mamatu.

Read the statement from the ANCYL Wits Branch here.

Read the statement from the statement from the Wits branch of the Democratic Alliance Student Organisation here.

Send us your comments and responses to these statements via email: editor@witsvuvuzela.com or tweeting us: @Wits Vuvuzela. Alternatively you can comment on our Facebook page: WitsVuvuzela.

 

ANCYL renews support for Motlanthe

It will be a “generational error” if deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe does not emerge as ANC president in its elective conference in December.

http://storify.com/akinoyedele/ancyl-renews-support-for-motlanthe

Rehabilitation is better than punishment

The five-year suspension of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema makes me think hard about the allocation of appropriate punishment in getting someone to acknowledge their mistakes and not repeat them.

No, of course Malema should not walk scot free if the disciplinary committee found him guilty of sowing division and bringing the party into disrepute. Those are definitely serious violations of the ANC’s code of conduct.

But suspend him for five years? Seriously?

That seems to us more like a conscious decision to effectively end his political career and silence him forever as opposed to making him acknowledge his wrongdoing and rehabilitate him to ensure he does not repeat the offences.

We are not at all fans of Malema or the ANC, but we certainly do not believe “Juju” is a bad leader. Looking only at his leadership, he has bravely challenged unemployment, education, skills development and other socio-economic issues affecting us as young South Africans, most of which even the senior leaders have not been daring enough to speak out on.

At Wits, the Men’s Res committee is facing suspension for “misconduct” during O-week. For two weeks now they have not been formally charged and have continued to endure the hardships of eviction from men’s res, forfeiting leadership privileges and experiencing academic strain.

How appropriate is all this in ensuring that if at all these young leaders are guilty they acknowledge their wrongdoing and more importantly do not repeat their offences? Is Wits trying to rehabilitate them or simply punish them with the aim of destroying their leadership aspirations?

While they wait for their charges to be laid and disciplinary hearings, it has often been the case that leaders at Wits who have been vocal about sensitive issues have seen their academic careers end prematurely.

Just like Malema who has been “disruptive” and “tjatjaraag” the Men’s Res committee could be in for a tough time.

However, I hope management deals with this issue in a manner that rehabilitates and allows these young leaders to acknowledge their wrongdoings, if any, as opposed to simply punishing them aimlessly.

SRC fails in attempt to reshuffle executive

The SRC has failed to remove its president Morris Masutha after three attempts to do so.

Citing lack of sufficient governance and leadership, the SRC passed a motion at the end of May to replace Masutha with his vice chair, Itumeleng Mafatshe. At a special meeting held on June 10, SRC members elected Mafatshe as president and Masutha as gender and transformation officer.

These elections were later deemed unconstitutional by the Wits legal office on the grounds that the SRC had failed to secure a two-thirds majority. This decision has been appealed by the SRC.

Meanwhile Masutha, who remains president, is adamant that the motion to have him removed was politically motivated by his refusal to support Julius Malema in the ANCYL elections.

“This has nothing to do with the competency of the SRC and everything to do with personal agendas against me by a few leaders within the ANCYL,” said Masutha.

“I made it clear that I did not support the re-election of President Malema, and I remain convinced that at no point do I view him as the champion of the poor. This was merely an attempt by the ANCYL to humiliate me, because whoever disagrees with Julius will be humiliated,” said Masutha.

Godfrey Maja, chairperson of the Wits ANCYL lashed out about Masutha’s relationship with Wits management. He also says Masutha insulted the branch by going against their organisational stance when he did not back Malema.

 “He chose to disregard it, I allowed him the space to say whatever he wanted, but we knew the organization would have to take appropriate steps”.

The PYA sent out a letter announcing the removal of Masutha from their structures. The letter was signed by the heads of ANCYL, SASCO and Young Communist League. It read:

PYA DISOWNS this former comrade and distances itself from any conduct, speech or activity of whatever nature he engages in. He must never in any platform speak or act on behalf of PYA or any of its Constituents and we NO longer regard him as president of the SRC as per the uncontested resolution of general members.

Bongani Jacob, media and publicity officer for the SRC has refuted that the motion was politically motivated. “We are dealing with student issues not politics, this decision was based on his failures and inability to govern the SRC properly,” he said.

Jacob said the SRC was unhappy that Masutha had not delivered on his promises and hardly spent any time in his office.

“We respect his programmes and his efforts to raise funds for students, he is a very active member of the SRC, but as the head of governance he has failed,” said Jacob.

Masutha argues that the he has fulfilled his role as president and the reason for slow implementation of SRC objectives had to do with delayed budget approval by management.

Not all SRC members supported the motion. “The SRC constitution does not accommodate for reshuffling,” said SRC member Brendan von Essen.

 “I think Morris has done a pretty good job so far and I didn’t think the reasons given by the SRC constituted such drastic action,” he added.

In the meantime the SRC continues to function. “We are being professional about this and doing our work. We are here to serve the students,” said Jacob.

Masutha said he put up a fight because he is concerned about the precedent this would set. “I didn’t want to give into this kind of bullying because it would mean that any SRC president after me would be passive, spineless, and would have to be very careful as to who he/she offends or differs with. I did it for the future presidents who don’t need to be yes men/women because they’re afraid to be recalled.”

DASO accuses ANCYL of singing ‘shoot the DA’

The Democratic Alliance Students Organisation (Daso) at Wits has lashed out at the ANCYL, accusing them of singing “dubul’iDA” (shoot the DA) at an illegal rally on campus.

Daso is now calling for the ANCYL and its members to be disciplined for inciting violence against other students and for flouting university regulations by holding a political rally outdoors.

“The Wits ANCYL attempted to hold a rally on Monday at the amphitheatre, where they hired thousands of rands worth of sound. When the SDLU [Student Development and Leadership Unit] tried to stop them, they were defiant and continued using the sound,” said Daso deputy chairperson Mohammed Sayanvala.

The ANCYL has denied these allegations, saying that this was a Sasco rally, and that any of their members who attended, did so in their ‘”Sasco capacities”.

Sasco president Tebogo Thothela, who admitted the correct permissions were not obtained for the rally, also refuted Daso’s claims.

“If a song like that was sung, the sound would have immediately been switched off,” he said.

However, Daso remains adamant that the song was sung, and is determined to lodge a formal complaint with the university.

“While walking past we heard them saying the phrase “dubul’iDA” and it is unacceptable for them to be singing this on a loudspeaker during lunch. We will no longer accept an apology from the ANCYL, we want disciplinary action to be taken,” Sayanvala said.

Tensions have been running high on campus in the run up to the local elections, and the two parties clashed heads recently when Daso accused the ANCYL of vandalising their posters.

“Our financial aid posters were plastered with ‘Vote ANC’ stickers . At least 10 15 of our posters were missing and they were clearly torn down,” said Sayanvala.

But Godfrey Maja, ANCYL chairperson at Wits, said there are many ‘’vandals’’ on campus, and that ‘missing posters’ is not unique to the DA. Instead,, Maja suggested that this is a political tactic employed by Daso to try to garner votes.

“Our posters are also being destroyed. To claim that the ANCYL is responsible for this is highly irresponsible and shows just how desperate the DA and Daso are to gain votes. Our members are too busy with our own campaign to worry about their useless posters,” Maja said.

Daso has also accused the SRC of aligning itself with the ANC by branding its offices with ANC flags and stickers.