President of the African National Congress Youth League has been criticized heavily for calling members of rival party EFF “monkeys”. In fact, since Maine’s remarks, the two bodies have been head on in a war of words with threats flying in all directions.
Reacting to the offensive comment, African National Congress spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said, “It’s offensive to describe a people, because you don’t agree with them, [as] monkeys, especially in the context of South Africa where monkeys were used to describe certain groups of people based on racial expression.”
President Collen Maine made the egregious remarks at the “Kgalemela lenyatso” rally in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria. He said, “those who seek to disrupt the State of the Nation must prepare themselves for a civil war.”
“If you fight with Zuma you are fighting with the youth league, and South Africans who have voted for him, and the ANC with more than 60% majority. The country will be defended. We cannot allow Julius Malema and his monkeys to run our country amok and turn this country into a banana republic.”
Also, the Democratic Alliance has kicked against Maine’s comment. The party has promised to take the matter to the South African Human Rights Commission. So that proper investigation would be carried out, to consider whether it would propel violence or not. Not only that, DA is also set to pull Maine to the law court if found wanting.
No doubt, ANCYL can be Zuma’s watchdog if they choose, but Maine’s threats to rivals who may seek to antagonize the 2016 State of the Nation Address is unacceptable. In fact, he promised civil war to any daring individual or groups of individuals, should Zuma be disrupted. Collen Maine said “The ANC Youth League will attend the SONA to defend the nation. We are ready for them. There will be blood.”
Speaking further, ANC spokesperson said, “any description of people as any animal, we don’t believe is correct.” He however attributed political decadence as the root of Maine’s speech, saying Maine’s threats were mothered by frustration with the “theatrics” seen in Parliament lately.
“The decorum and the dignity of Parliament has almost gone into thin air. And people are beginning to feel that they need to protect their democracy and the liberation, and the Youth League must be understood in that context,” Zizi maintained.
Meanwhile, Maine’s remarks have left EFF members with goose pimples. He also added salt to EFF members’ injury when he requested the police to allow ANCYL to secure the forthcoming SONA. The ANCYL leader said, the ANC youths will do this in order to ‘physically remove woodworkers from parliament’. Anyway, EFF has jabbed back at Maine. The party described him as a failure with no remarkable achievement.
“Any conscious South African, anybody that claims to be a revolutionary would never borrow the tools of white racists to describe black South Africans. Maine is a house slave.
“He has adopted the language of the master. To refer to black South Africans as monkeys is to participate in a language of racists and that disqualifies him as a revolutionary,” EFF replied Maine.