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The ANC clarifies its International Relations Policy

3 August 2011

On Monday the 8th August 2011, the Officials of the African National Congress are having the first bilateral meeting with the newly elected African National Congress Youth League NEC. In terms of our agreement this meeting is supposed to usher in the period wherein these meetings will be scheduled. There will also be scheduled meeting of the National Working Committees (NWCs) and National Executive Committees (NECs). We received the report of the ANCYL National Congress yesterday 02 August 2011, which will form the basis for the initial engagement with ANCYL. In view of the defiance by the ANCYL and the attempt to isolate cde Jackson Mthembu as speaking for himself when he is the rightful spokesperson of the ANC, cde Floyd Shivambu is not talking on behalf of the ANC. We will therefore have to reaffirm the relationship between the ANC and its leagues.

The fact that despite the ANCYL Secretary General, Comrade Sindiso Magaqa having been informed by the ANC officials of the intention to issue the statement on Monday before it was released, but the fact that the ANCYL decided to take on the ANC publicly, does not only warrant that this be an item on the agenda on Monday, but constitutes a serious transgression that the ANC itself must discuss and decide on.

Rule 7 of our Constitution is clarifying this relationship between the ANC and its leagues. Both the African National Congress Women League (ANCWL) and the African National Congress Veterans League (ANCVL) have never showed either disrespect or lack of understanding of this relationship. Unfortunately, when it comes to the ANCYL we have had many incidents that show the desire to undermine the ANC leadership under the pretextog not understanding the relationship between the two.

This desire to undermine this leadership has once more been displayed publicly by the ANCYL this week. Rule 7.4 of our constitution is clear that “the Youth League will function as an autonomous body within the overall structure of the ANC, of which it will be integral part, with its own Constitution, rules and regulations, provided that these shall not be in conflict with the Constitution and policies of the ANC.”

The responsibility of implementing conference and NGC resolution lies with the NEC of the ANC, including managing the international relations of the movement. The relations with our neighbours are clearly stated in the Freedom Charter, Clause 10; There shall be Peace and Stability.

South Africa shall be a fully independent state which respects the rights and sovereignty of all nations. South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiations –not war.

Peace and friendship among all our people shall be secured by upholding the equal rights, opportunity and status of all.

The people of the protectorates Basutoland (now Lesotho), Bechuanaland (now Botswana) and Swaziland shall be free to decide for themselves their own future. The right of all peoples of Africa to independence and self-government shall be recognised, and shall be the basis of close cooperation.

The ANCYL in their recent statement referred to the resolution of the 52nd National Conference on Party-to Party relations. The reference was made to resolve (35) talking to party to party relations among former liberation movements, reference was also made to resolve (36) which directs the NEC to establish better understanding of the ideological orientation and character of the parties in the continent, as well as resolution (37) that urges the NEC to strengthen relations with all progressive and like-minded parties in the region, the continent and the world.

Resolve (38) was deliberately left out by the ANCYL in its statement because it does not serve the purpose of confusing society, the resolve states “ Relations with other ruling parties in the continent that might not share the same vision with the ANC must be promoted and such relations could be based on common interests”. These resolutions and many others from the different National Conferences inform the policy and the work we do in the international arena.

The ruling parties in the regions, which are not former liberation movements like the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) must be assured that the ANC will continue being a good neighbour. ANC clearly has no policy of supporting regime changes even in countries governed by parties who may not share our ideological outlook.

We believe in the respect of the sovereignty of other countries and the spirit of good neighborliness.

Issued by:
ANC Secretary General
Gwede Mantashe
African National Congress

Jackson Mthembu 082 370 8401
Keith Khoza 082 823 9672