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New ANCYL president holds out olive branch to minorities

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ANT KATZ

ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa also spoke extensively on the need for a shared future for South Africans of all races, religions and cultures.

The re-established Youth League was clearly carefully chosen with all new office-bearers elected unopposed and Maine used a substantial amount of time in his closing address to apologise to the parent body (ANC) for the ill-discipline in the previous regime headed by Julius Malema, now leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Maine spoke at length on the urgent need for what he termed the “Revival of the Friends of the Youth League”, which could only be obtained if the Youth League were to seek support “in the broader society, beyond its traditional base. We must develop a programme to work with the Muslim, Jewish, Afrikaner, Greek, Hindu, Portuguese, and other minority youth and student formations, among others, for the betterment and secured future of South Africa”.

On international relations, Maine said: “We will continue to participate in programmes that seek to maximise the impact of international youth exchange programmes and further strengthen party-to-party relations with our progressive partners on the international platform, particularly within BRICS and South-South partners.

“The ANC Youth League will continue to offer support to youth formations that are operating within oppressive regimes, within the continent and the rest of global society.”

He pledged to “continue to give material, human and other support to Palestine, in support of their struggle for independence, as we continue to advocate for the two-state solution”.

This conciliatory statement was well-received by young Jewish activists and students Jewish Report spoke to.

The new executive of ANCYL is expected to meet with Jewish youth and student groups as early as this week. The new executive comprises: President – Collen Maine; Deputy President – Desmond Moela; Secretary General – Njabulo Nzuza; Deputy Secretary General – Thandi Moraka; and Treasurer General – Reggie Nkabinde.

Jewish Report has been reliably informed by a source inside ANCYL that two high-ranking members of the anti-Israel group BDS-SA had hoped to find themselves on the national executive committee; it is understood that both were elected 

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