Johannesburg – ANCYL president Collen Maine has retracted the call he made at the weekend for the MKMVA to take up arms in defence of President Jacob Zuma.
Maine made the about-turn following a meeting with ANC leaders, including Zuma, at the party’s headquarters on Monday.
“The president gave me a stern talking to,” Maine said on Tuesday.
He told News24 that although he did not believe his comments were inciting violence, he listened to his leaders and was unconditionally apologising to South Africans.
He said when ANC leaders talked, he listened, unlike expelled ANCYL president and current EFF leader Julius Malema.
“I am not like that popcorn Malema.”
The ANC on Monday told Maine to retract his call.
“His call is reckless and irresponsible,” ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said at the time.
Kodwa said peace in South Africa had come at a price and the ANC dissolved its military wing, Umkhonto weSizwe, in 1990.
During a pro-Zuma march in eThekwini at the weekend, Maine made a plea to the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) to defend the party and the country’s leader.
“Comrades from Umkhonto weSizwe, bring your guns. Now is the time to defend the revolution,” he said.
The ANC said it hoped his remarks would not be given space to flourish.
“In a democratic South Africa, there is no room for the private army,” Kodwa said.