Johannesburg - ANCYL national convenor Mzwandile Masina said “fork off” at a media briefing on Friday instead of “f**k off” when referring to Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim, the ANC Youth League said.
At a media briefing hosted by the Progressive Youth Alliance at Luthuli House in Johannesburg, Masina criticised Jim's stance on the Congress of SA Trade Unions, SA Community Party and African National Congress alliance.
“Look, you see, our view is very clear. Irvin Jim must f**k off if need be, as a person, because he can't want to drag structures of the movement including Numsa in his nonsense,” he said.
“Because this is one person who's got (a) personal vendetta against the president (Jacob Zuma) and he continues to embarrass us every day. It is time for him to f**k off. He's free to do so.”
The youth alliance consists of the ANC Youth League, the Young Communist League, the SA Students Congress, and the Congress of SA Students.
The ANC Youth League later attempted to clarify Masina's comments in a statement.
“The ANC Youth League notes the public discomfort and outcry with regards to the pronouncement of 'fork-off' by ANCYL convenor, comrade Mzwandile Masina,” it said.
“What comrade Masina said means Jim must ‘go a separate way; leave’. It is not vulgar language or a swear word.”
The ANCYL assured South African society and the international community that the league's leadership was respectful and constructively engaged in political discussions with both friend and foe.
“Comrade Mzwandile Masina used an English word, 'fork-off'.”
According to the league it meant “to divide in branches, go separate ways” and had been used as early as the 14th century in the English language.
Jim said on Friday that the union would not support the ANC in next year's elections and stop paying contributions to Cosatu and the SACP. He was speaking to delegates at the National Union of Metalworkers of SA's special national congress in Boksburg, on the East Rand.
“Numsa as an organisation will neither endorse nor support the ANC or any other political party in 2014,” he said.