The affordable education loan option
Johannesburg - The ANC Youth League national task team has labelled President Jacob Zuma supporter Panyaza Lesufi “opportunistic” and not a “true ANC member” for calling for a review of Julius Malema’s expulsion.
NTT national convener Mzwandile Masina said in a radio interview on Tuesday the Gauteng ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) member was ill-disciplined.
But Lesufi, who is also Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s spokesman, has defended his views, published in The Star and on IOL on Monday.
This came as the Gauteng ANC publicly distanced itself from Lesufi’s views, going as far as to criticise him for having failed to raise them within party structures.
ANC sources said they expected Lesufi to be forced to account at the next PEC meeting for publicly urging a rethink of sanctions against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, who was ousted as ANCYL president in 2011.
Lesufi broke ranks with his PEC colleagues and campaigned for Zuma’s re-election in Mangaung. The PEC had endorsed Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe’s candidacy.
Masina, who called the radio station to challenge Lesufi, said the PEC member’s conduct was unbecoming of an ANC leader.
“I think he’s ill-disciplined and does not understand how the ANC works. When the higher structure has made a decision, ours as membership is to follow that decision to the letter.
“He needs to behave like a true ANC member. We are very much worried about his posturing. We think it’s opportunistic and he did not apply his mind when he penned that particular article,” said Masina.
But Lesufi was unfazed.
“My views might not be applicable now. At least in our lifetime, they are going to be applicable. This organisation was handed over to us in one piece. We don’t have to hand it over to future generations in pieces. That’s the aspect that I am trying to exercise and to protect,” insisted Lesufi.
He had told The Star that Malema’s sanctions may have been too harsh, and he should be brought back to the ANC.
ANCYL NTT national co-ordinator Magasela Mzobe and ANCYL NTT spokesman Bandile Masuku called The Star after the Lesufi story was published and asked for an opportunity to respond.
But they changed their minds on Tuesday and promised to comment after their meeting with him.
Malema, who has ruled out the possibility of rejoining “a right-wing” ANC, said on Tuesday: “They must kill each other. They must leave me out. I don’t want to comment.”
Gauteng ANC spokesman Dumisa Ntuli said the party was concerned about Lesufi’s utterances.
“We want to put it on record that the views expressed by PEC member comrade Panyaza Lesufi are his personal opinions and at no stage of any ANC Gauteng meeting did such views or discussion emerge,” Ntuli said.
He said Malema’s case was “fully exhausted”.
“The ANC Gauteng is focusing on elections and it does not want to be preoccupied with matters that have been resolved by its structures.”