South Africa’s ruling party has condemned the remarks attributed to ANC Youth League President, Collen Maine as unfortunate, irresponsible and reckless.
The Youth League President called on uMkontho weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) to take up arms in defense of President Zuma.
He reportedly said: “Comrades from Umkhonto we Sizwe, bring your guns. Now is the time to defend the revolution… We must do it. Generations that came before did it. They sacrificed their lives.”
The ANC in a media statement, described Maine’s utterances as unfortunate, irresponsible and reckless saying the freedom, peace and stability South Africa enjoy came at a price.
“Amongst those freedoms, is the right to freedom of expression, which does not extend to inflammatory remarks such as those made by the Youth League President and should never be allowed to find space in our democratic society.
“Challenges facing society should at all times be resolved on the basis of platforms of co-existence agreed to by South Africans, which include amongst them the checks and balances between the branches of government, our Chapter 9 institutions which support constitutional democracy, law enforcement agencies…,” ANC stated.
The party further asserted that the current challenges facing the country require “reasoned, cogent and decisive leadership, not provocative and demagogic talk.”
With that, ANC disclosed that it has instructed the ANC Youth League President to retract his comments.
Also, ANC inferred that attempts to protect Zuma are unnecessary arguing that he continues to enjoy overwhelming support from the majority of members of the ANC and society at large.
The party highlighted that “President Zuma is the democratically elected leader of (South Africa) with more than 11 million South Africans having affirmed him as leader of our government in the recently held General Elections in 2014.”
Meanwhile, the ANC Youth League maintained that Maine’s comment wasn’t an instigation of violence, but an urge to defend South Africa’s democracy.
Speaking for the Youth League, Mondi Mkhiz said: “We are saying this democracy was fought for and anyone who wants to undermine this democracy for narrow interests of capital accumulation, we are not going to agree with that.
…We are not speaking about defending an individual, it’s about defending democracy,” Mkhiz emphasized.