The African National Congress has reprimanded its Youth League President after inflammatory comments inciting violence.

Collen Maine this weekend called on uMkhonto Wesizwe veterans to take up arms in defence of President Jacob Zuma, a call that the Youth League has labelled ‘patriotic’.

“Here we are not speaking about defending an individual, it’s about [sic] to defend democracy,” says the ANCYL’s Mondi Mkhize.

The ANC, meanwhile, has condemned the remarks and called them “unfortunate irresponsible and reckless”. It says that while we enjoy certain freedoms like freedom of expression, this does not extend to “inflammatory remarks” such as these.

“Challenges facing society should at all times be resolved on the basis of platforms of co-existence agreed to by South Africans,” says the ruling party. “Current challenges facing South Africa require reasoned, cogent and decisive leadership, not provocative and demagogic talk.

The parent party has subsequently ordered its off-the-chain youth chapter to stand down, telling Maine to retract his comments immediately or he will face punishment.

The party also took the opportunity to suggest that Zuma does not need to be defended, saying that more than 11 million South Africans wanted him as their leader.

“He continues to enjoy overwhelming support from the majority of members of the ANC and society at large,” it claims, disregarding the consistent criticism that has plagued the term of the incumbent Number One.

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