ANC Youth League president Julius Malema stormed out of the SA Communist Party’s special congress after he was booed by delegates. He was later followed by ANC National Executive Committee Member Tony Yengeni, who also left the University of Limpopo hall in a huff.
Delegates at the congress in Polokwane booed Mr Malema and ANC Executive Member Billy Masetlha when SACP National Treasurer Phumullo Masualle acknowledged their presence at the start of the conference. A fuming Mr Malema told reporters he and others in the ANC delegation were humiliated by the “hostile” delegates.
“I was unhappy with the delegates booing us when we were introduced. “The environment is hostile and not conducive for persuasion because delegates have wrongly perceived ideas about the leadership of the youth league and the ANC,” he said.
“You invite people to your conference and then you just boo them and howl at them like that? We were humiliated in front of everybody. SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande stuck the knife in even further after making humorous references in his opening address to the behaviour of delegates at the 2008 ANC Youth League conference during which Mr Malema was elected president.
He dismissed the league’s call to nationalise mines, describing it as “opportunistic” and a result of the “desperate conditions of BEE” because of the recession.
“The great majority of young militants who have flirted with this style of long nights of long knives, in bottom-baring conferences, with symbolic coffins for rivals, are not beyond constructive engagement,” Mr Nzimande said in his address.
After walking out, Mr Malema lashed out at the SACP for being hypocritical, saying that while it claimed to be against the “capitalist agenda”, it had given a Standard Bank representative a warm welcome.
“This is so shocking: that an alliance partner can be booed and monopoly capital in the form of Standard Bank can receive such a welcome by communists. This is a contradiction.” Mr Malema said he would tell ANC president Jacob Zuma what had happened.
Mr Zuma is scheduled to address the conference tomorrow. ANC Executive members Mr Masetlha, an aspiring businessman, and Minister of Co-operative Governance Sicelo Shiceka did not join Mr Malema and Mr Yengeni’s walkout.
Source: (www.timeslive.co.za 20091211)
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