ANCYL, YCL clash over Nzimande
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Pretoria - A row has erupted between the tripartite alliance’s youth wings over the call for Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to resign in the midst of student protests over university fee increases.
The ANC Youth League in Gauteng has called on Nzimande to resign as minister, saying he had failed in his mandate to start the process of ensuring free education and transforming the higher education sector.
The call for the resignation of Nzimande, who is also the leader of the SA Communist Party, has been dismissed by the Young Communist League (YCL) as part of the internal battles in the ANC ahead of its elective conference in 2017.
The SACP in Gauteng has also joined the fray, saying there is a “clear and well-orchestrated mobilisation to engineer a counter-revolution, project government in a bad light, locally and internationally, and to isolate, scapegoat and target (Nzimande)”.
“The attempt to besiege parliament yesterday is a deeply worrying alien phenomena. It corresponds only to the frenzied wishes of elements that are irreconcilably hostile to the SACP, its General Secretary Cde (Comrade) Nzimande and the working class struggle for socialism,” SACP’s Gauteng provincial secretary Jacob Mamabolo said on Thursday.
YCL spokesman Khaya Xaba said calling for Nzimande to resign showed that the ANCYL did not understand the issues at play as Nzimande does not have the power to unilaterally implement free education.
He said the league was being opportunistic and were part of the anti-communist sentiments within the ANC.
“These clowns (ANCYL) are just opportunists using the students’ genuine protests over fees for factional interests in the ANC because 2017 is around the corner.
“This is a way of trying to deal with Nzimande, and we know that it comes from sectors like the Premier League, unfortunately it is not going to happen,” said Xaba.
ANCYL Gauteng Matome Chiloane said it was unfortunate that the YCL had become Nzimande’s “defensive grouping” instead of defending the country’s youth.
“This has nothing to do with 2017, that is the matter for the ANC. The issue here is that what is happening now is because since 2009 Nzimande has done nothing to even initiate a discussion around free education at varsity, even on transformation he has failed.
“There is not even a paper or discussion document on the concept of free education that he has produced,” said Chiloane.
Cosatu has also threatened to strike in support of the students struggle against university fee increases.
“This struggle for a just and equitable situation in education should be continued by all students across the country and we as Cosatu will support them, because it mainly affects working class students.
“Cosatu will consider strike action against the State to compel a resolution to the funding crisis and general state of education in South Africa,” said Cosatu Western Cape provincial chairman Motlatsi Tsubane.
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