The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) has been given until 4 o’clock to publicly apologise for disrupting Kathrada’s memorial held in Durban or face being in contempt of court.
Last week, a civic body – the Active Citizens’ Movement (ACM) took the league to court in an attempt to bar the league from attending Kathrada’s commemoration held on April 9.
ACM is a forum initiated by anti-apartheid activists aimed at strengthening democracy and the values enshrined in the Constitution.
However, Judge Rashid Vahed granted the ANC’s young wing permission to attend on one condition – that they should not cause any disruption at the gathering.
But the league defied the court order preventing them from harassing or intimidating anyone who attended or spoke at the service, as they booed former Finance Pravin Gordhan after he entered the hall and drowned out Mkhize by singing pro-Zuma songs.
As Gordhan, who was a keynote speaker at the event took to the podium, the ANCYL started singing: “Wenzeni uZuma? Awuphendule” – meaning “What did Zuma do? tell us.”
His speech was further drowned by the restless youths after he said that “Unity cannot be based on the brown bags that are leaving the country”.
The former finance minister did, however, manage to wrap up his address swiftly saying, “We need to unite because if we don’t we, are doomed in 2019”, adding that he also wants radical economic transformation but it must not be for the hands of a few.
— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) April 9, 2017
ACM’s Yashica Padia confirmed that the movement had written to ANCYL requesting a letter of apology from the league.
Padia disclosed that they have sent across enough evidence to prove that the league was behind the interruptions.
“A letter has been sent to the ANYCL’s lawyers detailing our demands and we requested that they send us an apology and we also asked that they do not further disrupt any further event of the ACM.”
In a statement, Mkhize condemned the ANCYL for their unruly behaviour at Kathrada’s memorial, describing it as rebellious, unacceptable, and disgracing.
“It is clear that the ANC leadership has a huge task to embark on political education to teach our youth tolerance of different views and respect for the memory of those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom,” said Mkhize.
ANC Member of Parliament Makhosi Khoza said the disruption at Kathrada’s memorial by members of the ANC Youth League left her ashamed.
She expressed worry that similar behavior might break out during the ANC’s elective conference in December.
Meanwhile, ANCYL KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Mandla Shange on Thursday told reporters that neither the league nor their lawyers have received the letter from the movement’s lawyer, Viren Singh.