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Why concerted campaign against the ANC in Limpopo and the ANCYL?

01 August 2011

In the recent past, there has been a consistent and well-orchestrated campaign carried out through the mainstream media aimed at politically discrediting the Limpopo ANC-led government and the ANCYL, particularly its President.

Two principled points are worth re-stating. Firstly, the ANCYL president should not be judged and prosecuted via media-driven public opinion. Like any other South African citizen, he must be treated fairly and equally. Secondly, the ANC as well as the Limpopo provincial government are committed to the fight against corruption wherever it rears its ugly head. In this respect, we urge the media along with other relevant civil formations in the province to view the government as a keen partner in the fight against corruption.

Regardless of private stand-point, the corruption accusations levelled against the Limpopo government, government and ANCYL President, it is dishonest to deny the fact that the allegations are also driven by mendacious political and economic interests by various social forces with contradictory economic interests.

Regardless of private standpoints on the mendacious accusations seeking to marry the Limpopo government to the President of the ANC Youth League in an imagined alliance ostensibly underpinned by corruption; it is undeniable that some malicious social forces are at play. Their goal: self-serving political and economic ambitions contradictory to those sought by the people of Limpopo under the leadership of the African National Congress.

That the ANCYL president could not possibly be the only so-called public figure or politician with a trust fund is irrefutable. Furthermore, the residential status of public representatives is consistent with that of many other Black South Africans, who since the scrapping of the apartheid Group Areas Act of 1950 more than 20 years ago, moved out of townships allotted to Blacks and into more affluent suburbs. So, it is baffling that the residence of the President of the ANCYL should fetch headlines in the mass media in such a special manner. Likewise, there are countless public representatives who live in suburbs. Why then; out of so many public figures within and outside the movement, target the ANCYL President?

Objections to public figures owning trust funds and businesses, including living in suburbs, cannot only apply to the ANCYL President. They also must apply to all within and outside the ANC-led Alliance. Principled debates on these questions cannot be carried out through choreographed and personalized media attacks directed exclusively at the ANCYL President.

The exclusive focus on the ANCYL President obscures how the post-1994 business and state elite, including the self-styled communists` luxurious consumption, distorts the question of economic development. These elites tend to spend their incomes on lavish consumption as opposed to productive investment that would generate jobs and develop the economy. Developmental states in South Korea and Taiwan imposed heavy tariffs and domestic taxes on luxury products (i.e. goods that ordinary people cannot afford). These countries also imposed capital controls and ensured that money is invested in industrializing projects.

The exclusive attack directed at the ANCYL President and the ANC Limpopo government is not surprising. These attacks cannot be viewed outside the context of the ANCYL national congress and forthcoming 2012 ANC National Congress, and disappointed business elites.

There are social forces within and outside our movement, who are not satisfied with the result of the ANCYL congress and the possible 2012 National congress outcomes.

Whilst there are people who are genuinely concerned about corruption, we note however, that talk about corruption is being used by social forces united against the ANC-led government and ANCYL leadership as a political drumstick to fight for the capture of the ANC leadership as a necessary step towards capturing the state to pursue their narrow economic interests.

There is a group of business individuals who seem to have had a mistaken assumption that the outcomes of the 52nd ANC National and ANC provincial congress meant that they would get tenders through unscrupulous means. To their disappointment, the ANC-led government has refused to bend the rules to meet their narrow economic interests. And no amount of baseless allegations fed to gullible journalists shall force the ANC-led government to bend government rules just because they are blowing the whistle of non-existent corruption.

The current unity of the ANCYL and ANC in Limpopo presents a formidable force to influence the leadership and policy direction of our movement in the national policy conference as well as the national elective conference next year. Therefore, it follows that different political forces will mount a political fight-back to forestall the ANCYL`s radical political program as supported by the ANC in Limpopo. This fight-back includes, but not limited to, peddling of allegations and innuendos against the ANC leadership and the ANCYL. The 2012 ANC leadership contest is more likely to repeat the abuse of state institutions akin to the process towards the ANC 52nd National congress.

It is clear that some of our newly found anti-corruption crusaders are just hypocrites seeking political fortunes out of wishful thinking that a fall of the current Limpopo ANC-led government would provide them with political fortunes to advance their narrow political and economic interests.

Further, double standards, have led them to conveniently forget that a few years ago they were themselves subjected to corruption allegations and innuendos by fellow comrades in their own organizations, and were eventually tried and judged by the court of public opinion.

Big white business and its junior black partners are not content with any radical economic transformation. They will therefore, directly and indirectly, aid and celebrate the political defeat of the ANC in Limpopo and the entire ANC Youth League.

Opening up the debate on leadership questions for the next ANC national congress as early as now will enable the ANC to openly deliberate on the kind of leadership required to carry out the ANC`s economic policy programs going forward.

This includes debating the calibre of leadership required to lead processes for the nationalization of mines, previously privatised government-owned companies such as Arcellor Mittal and SASOL, land and other strategic industries for the benefit of the poor.

Democracy is what drives the ANC and this entails internalising democratic practice in the movement itself. Therefore, discussion on 2012 leadership cannot be treated as a sport race in which we have to wait until the referee blows the whistle for it to start.

::David Masondo::