Riot police had to prevent pro-Jacob Zuma protesters from storming a Durban venue where ANC Youth League deputy president Ronald Lamola was delivering a lecture on Tuesday night.
Waving placards saying “Zuma we are proud of you – support second term”, the group was barred from entering the gates of the Durban University of Technology.
Their chanting could be heard from inside the hall where Lamola was speaking on the nationalisation of mines, land expropriation without compensation and the early retirement of the ANC leadership.
KZN youth league member Thami Shezi told the audience that “people were brought to come in and boo”.
The league’s Verulam branch secretary Simamisa Mkhize, who is pro-Zuma, said the protesters had been invited to attend the lecture but were blocked from the DUT premises on arrival.
Mkhize said the league was trying to marginalise the ANC.
“We don’t want to hear disrespect from the ANCYL leadership,” he said.
Later, Mkhize was seen having a heated argument with Shezi. One of the protesters grabbed Shezi’s wrist.
League national executive member and spokeswoman Maggy Moonsamy denied claims made by protesters that the league was trying to divide the mother body.
After calling “long live Julius Malema”, Moonsamy said that, at a time when KZN needed to be behind the suspended members (Malema, former spokesman Floyd Shivambu and secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa), the province had seen itself as being “outside” the league.
Last October the KZN youth league executive was disbanded, apparently for defying national leaders by expressing support for a Zuma second term and “sowing division”.
However, the suspended leaders claimed that they had been disbanded by the national leadership because they had not sent members to Joburg to back Malema during his disciplinary hearing in September.
On Tuesday night, Lamola said that if the ANC was to survive another century, the league needed to be “autonomous”, “radical” and “militant”, rather than “praise worshippers” or “cheerleaders”.
He added that the charging of Malema, Shivambu and Magaqa was a “suppression” of that autonomy. He continued to say that it was only in Africa where the “old” wanted to rule and that certain ANC bigwigs should retire or serve in advisory roles. Lamola said the mother body’s leadership needed to “have balls” to attack white monopolies.
Lamola called for legislation “as forceful as a war” to solve the land question and for the SA constitution to be amended to allow for mines to be nationalised.
Lamola paid tribute to disgraced police commissioner Bheki Cele and former statesman Thabo Mbeki. - The Mercury