Maine's comments cannot be wished away or undone – Yusuf Cassim

DA lays criminal charges against ANCYL President, says call for violence cannot go unpunished

DA lays charges against ANC Youth League President Maine for inciting violence

19 October 2016

The DA Youth has today laid criminal charges against Collen Maine, the President of the ANC Youth League – also known as the ‘Zuma Defence League’ - for inciting violence, after he called on MK veterans to take up arms for President Jacob Zuma. We contend that these remarks are highly incendiary and are at direct odds with the principles of a nonviolent society as envisaged by our Constitution.

While we welcome the ANC requesting that he withdraw these inflammatory remarks, they must go a step further and demand his resignation as the Youth League’s President if they do indeed condemn Maine’s statements purported to in the media. Failing which, it will show the ANC’s reprimand of Maine for the cheap political stunt we suspect it to be.

Specifically, Maine’s statements are dangerous, callous and irresponsible. They are in direct contravention with the Constitution, which in Chapter 2 section 16 states that:

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which … does not extend to— (a) propaganda for war; (b) incitement of imminent violence; or (c) advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.” Maine’s remarks are an insult to our Constitutional Democracy and ought to be met with strongest possible condemnation. 

This comes after Maine made the call at a pro-Zuma march organised by the ANC’s eThekweni region on Saturday. 

Maine called on “Comrades from Umkhonto we Sizwe, bring your guns. Now is the time to defend the revolution.” He added “We must do it. Generations that came before did it. They sacrificed their lives.” Maine tore into Zuma’s detractors, calling them “snakes who surround” the president “trying to bring him down.” 

Many South Africans fought and died for a democratic South Africa, at peace with itself and the world. To call for civil war goes against everything the struggle for democracy represented.

Accordingly, I have request that the South African Police Service open a case against Mr Maine, and commence investigation in the above respect. We cannot during this time of instability on our campuses have youth leaders calling for violence. 

It is becoming a deeply worrying trend for leaders within the ANC to call for violence and go unpunished. This after one of their MPs, Bongi Mkongi, threatened and encouraged others to burn people alive in the building which housed the #ZumaMustFall billboard, and remained in office, showing that the ANC does not act steadfastly against criminality. It is high time the ANC act on these calls to arms and demand Maine’s resignation with immediate effect. 

Incitement of violence is a very serious crime that goes against the spirit and intent of our Constitution, and the principle of the Rule of Law. In keeping with these key constitutional principles, it is essential that this results in a full investigation. It cannot be wished away or undone. 

Issued by Yusuf Cassim, DA Youth Chairperson, 19 October 2016