ANCYL disrupts Kathrada memorial in Durban

ANCYL disrupts Kathrada memorial in Durban

Members of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in KwaZulu-Natal have repeatedly disrupted a memorial service for the struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada in Durban.

Pravin Gordhan in Durban

Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was the keynote speaker, and asked ANCYL members on more than one occasion to allow him to continue with his speech.


"It's my turn to talk, it's your turn to listen for now," said Gordhan, amid boos from the crowd.

“It's a free country, but this is not respect.” 


Despite Gordhan’s protestations, the ANC's provincial chair Sihle Zikalala was later forced to intervene, telling ANCYL members to either behave or leave the ceremony.


The disruptions came despite a directive from the ANC Youth League's provincial chair Kwazi Mshengu, asking members not to disrupt any of the speakers.


The ANCYL's Thanduxolo Sabelo read out Mshengu's order: "Comrade PG [Pravin Gordhan] remains a leader of the African National Congress.


"And the youth of the ANC will respect all leaders of the African National Congress."


Gordhan, who was sacked from Cabinet days after Kathrada's death, highlighted unity in his address.


He told the ceremony that squabbles amongst members of the ANC will ensure the party is voted out of power in 2019.


Songs by the Youth League members also drowned out a speech by the ANC's Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize.


"I hope that going forward we will not have the disagreements being expressed in front of all the people, whilst we are dealing with a commemorative process," said Mkhize.


The actions by the ANC Youth League came despite a High Court order, stating they were only allowed to attend the memorial if they behaved.


Dr Albertina Luthuli, the daughter of the late ANC president Albert Luthuli, issued a statement after she was unable to attend the ceremony.

Amid disruptions, the statement was read out: "We must treat this wonderful country with the utmost care, lest we lose it to the unprincipled leaders."

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