ANCYL leader's call to arms 'free expression'
The ANC Youth League has sprung to the defence of its president, Collen Maine, following accusations that a comment he made over the weekend could incite violence.
League spokesman Mlondi Mkhize argued that Maine's comments, in which he called on members of Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association to take up arms in defence of President Jacob Zuma during a march in Durban, were taken out of context.
Maine was quoted as saying: "Comrades from Umkhonto weSizwe, bring your guns. Now is the time to defend the revolution."
Mkhize said Maine's comments were unlikely to incite anyone to carry out the actions. In any case, Mkhize argued, Maine had a right to freedom of expression.
"[He] does not have the authority to instruct MK veterans to bring [out] guns. Such authority lies elsewhere, with the president of the veterans. [Maine] did not call for any MK veterans to shoot any person," said Mkhize.
This comes as the DA Student Organisation prepares to lay charges against Maine for inciting violence.
Daso leader Yusuf Cassim said Mkhize's comments "do not negate the criminality of [Maine's] conduct".