Nkangala young communist league leader Themba ‘Ntshebe’ Ntimane is now the provincial secretary of the league in the Mpumalanga province.
Ntimane took the reigns of the YCL as its 5th provincial secretary on Saturday night (6 Apr), taking over from Tinyiko Nyini who got elected the national secretary last year December.
Their congress was held at the Noma-Nini Lodge in White River and received messages of support from the Communist Party of Swaziland, Cosas, SASCO, Cosatu as well as the SACP.
In their address, the SACP reminded the young communists that although they were “autonomous” they were not “independent”.
Communist provincial deputy secretary Mandla Tibane said the YCL was formed by the SACP as its child for the sole goal of fighting and achieving the total freedom of oppressed people “and that still remains that way”.
“We are not here to babysit you. We are here to show you the maximum support that you expect from your elders and in that way we expect a maximum discipline from you, ” Tibane told the YCL congress Saturday night.
Newly elected chair Mzwandile Vilakazi (right) seen here with secretary Themba ‘Ntshebe’ Ntimane (second from right). The congress also elected N. Khumalo as Ntshebe’s deputy, Fikile Malandule as deputy chair and treasurer Fikile Khoza
The SACP founded the YCL in 1921 but in 1950 the Apartheid government declared it illegal together with the SACP under the Suppression of Communism Act. It was then re-established in 2003 after a 2002 SACP congress took a resolution to re-establish it.
Ntimane served two terms as leader of the Nkangala YCL.
In his address as the newly elected leader of the Mpumalanga YCL on Sunday afternoon, he said the responsibility of young people is “to learn and once you have learnt you must then assist with clarity”.
“Young people must give a correct response in the right time. Our responsibility as we are learning should not be only to defend old people but assist the society on how to bring change for young people in the province,” he said.
He also condemned the physical attack on deputy chair Fikile Malandule who could not attend the congress because of injuries. She was elected in absentia.
“We will never allow any of our persons to be attacked. We are saying not in our lifetime and those who did it should not think that harming young people will be a walk in the park, ” Ntimane said.
Ntimane’s big job ahead will be to try and mend sour relations between the Mpumalanga ANCYL and the YCL.
The fight between the two organisations stems from tensions between firebrand provincial communist leader Bonakele Majuba and then ANC provincial leader DD Mabuza.
The two were united by then deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa during an Alliance Summit in April 2016.
The ANCYL snubbed the YCL provincial congress, sending nobody to deliver a message of support.
The party said the inequalities created in health is so unconstitutional.
The SACP in the Mpumalanga province is preparing mass action to the offices of the provincial government in Mbombela.
The march will highlight the “primary importance” of the national health insurance, communist spokesman Lesetja Dikgale said on Wednesday.
He said it was the “experts or specialists” who are so “costly” and “make it difficult for the poor to access quality and affordable healthcare”.
“It is constitutionally wrong,” Dikgale said, “because constitutionally that right is guaranteed”. So we want to highlight that and insist that the minister implements NHI immediately because we believe health doesn’t wait and a healthy nation is a working nation and a working nation is a happy nation”.
The NHI will allow anybody to go to any healthcare facility – private or public – and the costs will be paid for by government.
Dikgale said they will “highlight the primary importance” of NHI and they will march to the government complex in Riverside, Mbonbela 28 February 2019.
Majuba said the leadership of former provincial leader DD Mabuza, who became the ANC’s deputy president on 18 December 2017, tried to sideline the Alliance but they had to fight and “now the Alliance in the province is smooth”.
“The one who is going to take over [from Mabuza] after the PGC if he forgets that in the province there are communists that person will have a difficult time for the rest of his term in office,” Majuba said to thunderous applause.
“Just ask the previous group they will tell you,” he said.
The communist party celebrated 97 years of birth over the weekend in Mpumalanga, inviting Central Committee member Buti Manamela to come deliver the keynote address.
“There is that disrespect in that district (eHlanzeni). We are watching that district especially the leadership of the ANC there. We are watching you. They think they can operate without the Alliance. Very soon we are coming to them or those who taught them to disrespect the communist party we will first go to them and tell them ‘look, you left a mess behind. Come clean it’,” he said, “otherwise we will remove you in your national positions because of the mess you left,” he said.
Majuba said the SACP is a powerful force in the ANC-led Alliance and had in the past been able to influence major decisions.
Addressing the scores who had come to the hall to celebrate, Majuba said that they are the ones who raised the alarm about the Gupta family’s capture of the state.
He said that’s because as communists they use the scientific tools of analysis and never get it wrong.
Majuba is one of the key figures in Mpumalanga who campaigned tirelessly for Cyril Ramaphosa to take over the reigns as the 14th ANC President.
He was contesting Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former AU chairwoman who had the backing of then President Jacob Zuma and of the ANC in KZN, North West, Free State, Mpumalanga as well as the uMkhonto we Sizwe, ANCYL and the ANCWL.
Ramaphosa was supported by Cosatu, SACP as well as the ANC in Western, Northern and Eastern Cape and that in Limpopo and Gauteng.
“That leader must be ready to respect all of us in the Alliance,” Majuba said on Saturday night.
The Young Communist League in the Gert Sibande region said they don’t care whether Thulasizwe Thomo or Gracious Shabangu emerges as the regional leader of the ANCYL.
“We will work with whoever is elected. Our view is that we want to see a united ANCYL after all these factions. We want a conference that will be peaceful, robust, that will not have old people who will impose their views and divide the youth. Whoever will emerge we will work with,” Gert Sibande YCL leader Ayanda Mashaba said.
Regional Task Team co-ordinator James ‘Castro’ Nkosi said they await national secretary Njabulo Nzuza’s signature on the audit report and afterwards will have a ‘cooling period’ before the date of the regional congress is announced.
“The guidelines say that once the audit report has been signed we must allow a cooling period where those branches that are not happy will lodge disputes,” said Nkosi.
Nkosi will face off Mcebo Zwane for the position of regional secretary and Shabangu, who is in the Zwane slate as chairman, will face off Thomo, the former spokesman of the league in the region.
Their campaign is to replace Trevor Nkosi, the popular and affable regional youth leader who in mid-2016 got elected as the Mpumalanga ANCYL deputy chairman.
He addressed scores with the vigour needed to ascend to the ANC’s highest office.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa believes in slates but wants the losing one to accept the winning one as their elected leaders for the sake of the survival of the ANC.
He said if he himself doesn’t win in December he will just “accept the decision of the majority” and rally his support behind the newly elected leadership.
Ramaphosa spoke during the Mpumalanga SACP’s Red October rally in Mbombela on Saturday and said that everyone – both candidates and delegates – will have to understand that what comes first is actually the ANC and not individuals.
“So comrades as we go to the conference we must know that this is an important conference,” Ramaphosa said at the Mbombela rugby stadium.
“Those leaders who are standing for positions and who will not succeed must accept that those who will be elected are their leaders,” he said.
“They must accept that what comes first is democratic centralism,” Ramaphosa said.
He delivered the keynote address at the communist event together with SACP national deputy chairman Thulas Nxesi.
“Myself as Cyril Ramaphosa if I don’t get enough votes we must accept the decision of the majority of the delegates of the conference,” the Deputy President told supporters in black CR17 t-shirts.
“I’m willing to accept the decision of the majority of the conference. If I don’t succeed, I will humble myself and accept the results and the leadership that will be elected,” he said to applause.
Ramaphosa will face off with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in December when the ANC convenes its 54th national congress.
The two are forerunners in the race to succeed outgoing President, Jacob Zuma, on 16-20 December.
Other runners who have declared their interests for the ANC presidency are Lindiwe Sisulu, Zweli Mkhize, Baleka Mbete and Mathews Phosa.
The ANC in the province snubbed the rally, saying it was told nothing about it and instead endorsed the one held by the ANCWL in KwaMhlanga, addressed by Dlamini-Zuma.
Bonakele Majuba, the party’s leader in Mpumalanga, thanked the crowds for coming despite being intimidated, apparently by leaders of branches aligned to ANC provincial leader DD Mabuza – who is opposed to Ramaphosa ascending to the highest ANC job.
“We know that some of you were stopped while you were coming here. Buses were stopped and some of you were even told that if you come here you will lose your jobs and all those kind of things,” Majuba said.
Two NGOs are heading to the Tshwane High Court to force government to respect the constitutional rights of people with regard to the air pollution being caused by Mpumalanga’s Sasol and Eskom power plants.