Collen Maine

You might note that I chose not to refer to you as a comrade, let alone, as President of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League Leadership. I will elaborate on this further in the letter.

For the record, I have long suspected (and I doubt that I am the only one) that you have no interest in the youth of this country and in addition I am convinced that you have no inkling of the awesome responsibility thrust upon you. 

The youth league used to be the ire of the best young people in society, but under your leadership, it has become the source of many jokes. 

You, in particular, have become synonymous with a famous juice and most recently, the song Confessions. 

Come to think of it, to say under your leadership the youth league has been horribly diluted, would be the perfect metaphor. 

Fortunately, as Marcus Cicero noted: “history is indeed the witness of the times and the light of truth" and your incapacity is revealed by examining one recent historical event".

For instance, the Fees Must Fall protests must rank as one of the most pivotal examples of youth activism during your term. 

Instead of commending young people for seeking the fulfillment of the Freedom Charter, you condemned us. 

Put it this way, you parroted the words of the older generation, calling your own constituency "counter-revolutionary" and praised comrade Supra for your mysterious rise to your position.  

As you said,“What you must write when you write a story is that there is one leader who has made me who I am, and his name is Supra Mahumapelo. If you want to call him Premier League, it is fine, but he has made me who I am politically."

While your constituents sought to fulfil the letter of the Freedom Charter, you were begging for a plate of curry in Saxonwold. 

I doubt comrade Supra, the man you so deeply admired, dragged you there kicking and screaming, especially since you literally had more important things to do. Where was your revolutionary consciousness?

And so it is for this reason that, you are simply not worthy of being referred to as a comrade. 

ALSO READ: #WinnieMandela: Maine told to resign for being a 'coward and liar'

A comrade is someone who sacrifices their skills and time in order to achieve the collective aspirations of society.  

Moreover, this is someone who shares in the convictions of that particular collective. 

This clearly cannot be said of you. In fact, the opposite is true, and you stand directly against the youth. As such even at a conceptual level, you ought not to enter Luthuli House, let alone in the name of the youth.

In some way, I must admit, I think we are deeply indebted to the spirit of Mama Winnie Madikizela- Mandela (as her revolutionary soul rests in power), for
sweeping through this nation and unravelling the hypocrites amongst us masquerading as vanguards of the people. 

Her passing as exposed a number of things that are severely problematic in our movement. 

Foremost among those is the pervasive patriarchy in our movement, that posits that even mediocre uninspiring males like you can lead this glorious movement. 

I shudder to imagine how society and comrades would have rejected and ejected you if you were female. 

I mean, your mediocrity is self-evident during this very sad time in the history of the liberation movement you had nothing credible to say about an extraordinary matriarch other than spuriously linking her to the Guptas. 

Instead, you chose to show us that you have new handlers.

By the way, and I know you would not know this because you are not youth, there is a poll doing the rounds on whether we should refer to your tribute (or lack thereof) as a remix of Usher's "My Confessions" or the melodic sifila (church hymn) "Diphiri Le Makuntu" (the results are coming soon). 

Anyway since you are in the mood for confessing take it a step further resign. Call for an early congress in June and ask the youth league to relieve you of the awesome responsibility you have treacherously failed to discharge. 

I have no doubt that there are many youth league members out there waiting for a moment to realign the movement with society. 

Step aside so that the youth can ensure that membership in the league becomes the highest honour for a young person in post-apartheid South Africa. 

This country now more than ever needs a youth league that will fearlessly critique the status quo and formulate answers for the future. 

Not a youth league that will cuddle between handlers for their security and self-enrichment and preservation. Under your watch, the youth league has become, like a horribly diluted Oros which leaves a very bad aftertaste.

I (and I am prone to think many others as well) can no longer muster the courage to mention your name in the same sentence as luminaries and former Presidents of the youth league like Anton Lembede, Robert Sobukwe, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, Ashby Mda, Jacob Selebi, Peter Mokaba, Lulu Johnson, Malusi Gigaba, Fikile Mbalula and even Julius Malema.

P.S. There is a great deal of masculinity in that list and in honour of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and other females revolutionaries, we should probably look at the many capable female comrades in our movement to lead us; this should start with the youth.

*@PhiriCJ is a member of the African National Congress and its Youth League and writes in his personal capacity.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.