[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.
Press release of ANC Youth League on the birthday of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe
The ANC Youth League wishes ANC Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe a joyous and productive happy birthday. Comrade Kgalema Motlanthe is one of the most outstanding leaders of the ANC amongst his generation and has always brought forth creative and innovative solutions to South Africa’s socio-economic problems.
As General Secretary of the National Union of Mine Workers, Comrade Kgalema was involved in the establishment of the Mineworkers Investment Company (MIC), which was wholly owned by the Mineworkers Investment Trust. During his tenure, NUM established the JB Marks Education Trust, which provided bursaries to mineworkers and their dependants, and a resident trade union school called the Elijah Barayi Memorial Training Centre, located in Yeoville, Johannesburg. He was also involved in establishing the Mineworkers Development Agency, which focused on the developmental needs of ex-mineworkers, their dependants and communities.
As Secretary General of the ANC, Comrade Kgalema Motlanthe held the ANC together amidst massive difficulties of intolerance and purging of leaders of the ANC who were seen as opposed to the forces that be. Comrade Kgalema recurrently spoke against government deployees who refused to follow mandate of the African National Congress on key policy decisions and directives. Comrade Kgalema is not a compromised leader and can at all times provide leadership to all sections of society and the ANC.
Comrade Kgalema Motlanthe is the first leader of the ANC in the democratic dispensation to propose the idea of founding a State Owned Mining Company to fund free education. The ANC Youth League today draws inspiration from his good lessons, creative and innovative ideas on how the country should move forward. When the ANC Youth League was militantly raising the question of African leadership in key and strategic economic sectors of the State, Comrade Kgalema proposed the idea of sending students to the best Universities outside South Africa to gain skills, education and expertise on critical, scarce and vital skills in order to contribute to the development of the economy in the future.
As President of the Republic of South Africa, Comrade Kgalema Motlanthe excellently and modestly managed the transition from 2004 General elections government to the 2009 general elections government. He handled transition in a very modest and wise manner, which did not isolate members of the ANC and critical members of the bureaucracy who were made to believe the ANC is out to get them.
As a progressive internationalist, Comrade Kgalema Motlanthe has never agreed to make unsustainable and unnecessary assurances to imperialist Masters, even when he addresses them in their countries. Recurrently, the contributions of Comrade Kgalema Motlanthe reflect a deeper understanding of ANC traditions, policy positions and various conjectures of the National Democratic Revolution. The honestly and frankness he expressed in the 52nd National Conference Organisational Report on challenges facing the ANC, and the solutions proposed by Congress will for a long time guide the ANC at all levels.
Comrade Kgalema Motlanthe represents a brighter future of the ANC and the country and will always be celebrated as one of the best leaders of his generation of ANC leadership. Happy Birthday Comrade President!
Issued by the ANC Youth League
Contact Floyd Shivambu, ANC Youth League Spokesperson
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