ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leaders in the Eastern Cape have warned axed finance minister Pravin Gordhan that if he continues to criticise the ANC outside the party’s structures, he may also be booed by the ANC youth in the Eastern Cape.
On Sunday, ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize lashed out at ANCYL supporters for heckling him and Gordhan at the last memorial service for stalwart Ahmed Kathrada in Durban.
Gordhan was one of the main speakers, but struggled to get through his speech as ANCYL supporters booed him and sang songs in praise of President Jacob Zuma.
Gordhan was drowned out after he spoke about the need for principled unity. Mkhize did not fare any better. “The memorial service of comrade Ahmed Kathrada was today marred by a heckling incident against me‚” the ANC treasurer-general had said.
“The ANC leadership has a huge task to embark on political education to teach our youth tolerance of different views.
“We also need to respect the memory of those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.”
Gordhan‚ fired in Zuma’s recent controversial cabinet reshuffle‚ has angered the ANCYL and other Zuma supporters with his outspokenness on corruption.
ANCYL Eastern Cape task team head Mziwonke Ndabeni said: “If he [Gordhan] continues, we cannot rule out that same reaction here in this province.”
KwaZulu-Natal ANCYL secretary Thanduxolo Sabela said at the weekend Gordhan had provoked their members when he accused ANC members of carrying money in brown envelopes.
Ndabeni said the Eastern Cape ANCYL did not support Gordhan’s decision to go against the ANC’s policies, which state members must not use ANC structures to criticise the party.
“Our stance is that it is not correct for Pravin [Gordhan] to want the country to burn just because he has been fired from the Treasury, whether we agree with his recall or not,” Ndabeni said.
An ANCYL team met in Calata yesterday to discuss the ANC’s handling of the cabinet reshuffle, after which two global rating agencies cut South Africa’s credit rating to junk. – Additional reporting by TMG Digital