ANC calls for restraint
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Johannesburg - The ANC has called for restraint from its members in the wake of the murder of AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche, urging them to avoid songs which polarise society.
Secretary-general Gwede Mantashe told reporters at Luthuli House in Johannesburg on Wednesday: "Our appeal to our members is informed by the fact that we have a responsibility of ensuring that they are not used as a scapegoat for other agendas".
Mantashe confirmed that this call was made to all structures of the ANC including its youth league. He confirmed that he spoke to the league's president, Julius Malema on Tuesday regarding the song.
However Mantashe added that this did not amount to a ban on the song.
'Appropriate political approach'
Rather, the party's top brass will at its next meeting, from May 14 to 16, decide on "an appropriate political approach" in dealing with questions raised about the song.
Mantashe said the song was used to "capture the mood and the moment".
"Now the debate that must take place in the ANC... is how do we use the songs to capture the mood and the moment."
Mantashe said it was "the considered view" of its top six officials who met on Tuesday that the restraint it is calling for would "help our society see through the disguised attempts by the right wing groups" who sought to reverse the progress made in transformation since 1994.
"The restraint will remove excuses...to whip up racial hatred."
On the death of Terre'Blanche, Mantashe said the ANC found it "very unfortunate" that the media and political commentators have politicised a criminal matter.
"Equally important is the lack of reporting and equal sensation around the shooting and killing of a black hunter by a farmer who is currently out on bail of R5 000.
"We are also dismayed by the little coverage of the brutal assault of seven farm workers by a farmer in the North West."
Mantashe brushed aside questions about what the consequences would be should any of the ANC members fail to heed the call for restraint.
He said the ANC structures were "autonomous but integral" and their relationship was not that of "master and servant".
He said the ANC would explain the importance of that restraint and it would "manage" differences which emanated from the structures on the matter.
Once the ANC's National Executive Committee and its National Working Committee discussed the matter, the debate would then filter down to the structures.
"When there is buy in (from the structure), it is easy to manage that decision."
Read more on: hate speech | politics | ancyl | anc | gwede mantashe | eugene terre'blanche | julius malema