Unabriged media release: Sisulu meets ANCYL NEC, DA response




The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu today told the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) that the proposed national service to be managed and implemented by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will provide an opportunity for young unemployed youth to learn basic military discipline, leadership and strategic thinking whilst acquiring much needed technical skills that they will use in their entire life.

The Minister was invited to present to the NEC of the ANCYL details and structures of the national service proposed in her Budget Vote Speech on May 5, 2010. The Minister shared details on the benefits of the programme, the skills development opportunities available to young people and also received detailed input from the members of the NEC on how they see the national service implemented.

The Minister told the NEC that the national service will provide unemployed young people with opportunities that they can only dream of. “Whilst undergoing a two year basic military training in one of the SANDF services (SA Army, SA Air force, SA Navy and SA Medical Health Services) they will also learn various skills and also get practical work experience they can use in the future. Our programme would be recognised by institutions of higher learning, so many young people will get experiential training and opportunities to put their theory into practice” She said.

Following comments from NEC members who welcomed the programme and called for its urgent implementation, the NEC concluded that the ANCYL will support the programme and will advocate within its members and also ensure that young people who are the immediate beneficiaries of the programme know about it and also embrace it.
“As the ANCYL we have been calling for this programme for a long time, we would want the Minister to ensure that no young person is turned away when the programme starts, it must start as soon as possible, I also hope that this programme will teach our young people to know their flag, national symbol and our rich history, but as the ANCYL we are ready to mobilise our members and all young South Africans in support of this programme” ANCYL President, Julius Malema said.

The NEC also resolved that led by their President, they are available for a short military training in September 2010 to understand the programme and experience what young people will experience, the Minister agreed and necessary arrangements would be made for the ANCYL NEC to undergo military training for a period of two weeks.

The NEC also urged the Minister to ensure that the business sector, other Government departments, municipalities and other law enforcement agencies are linked to the national service and will see the SANDF as a centre or “pot” of skills they can use when they want to recruit people.

The Minister has started a road show to consult with all stakeholders who are beneficiaries of the national service. The Minister will meet with organisations that represent youth, unemployed graduates and business. The Department of Defence is finalising policies, the master plan of the project and an assessment of the infrastructure and resources required to implement the project. The Minister will also table proposed legislation and policy on the programme soon before parliament.

Tomorrow the Minister will meet the Young Communist League.

The Minister was accompanied by the Secretary of Defence designate, Mrs Mpumi Mpofu and her Advisor, Professor Sipho Seepe to the meeting.

Issued by

Ndivhuwo Mabaya

Head of Media Services

Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans

Cell: 083 645 7838

Email: [email protected]

Date: May 13, 2010

For the ANCYL contact Floyd Shibambu on 082 819 9474.


14 MAY 2010

Malema must not be allowed to politicise SANDF

Release: immediate

The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu, made a serious error of judgment in agreeing to allow Julius Malema to undergo two weeks of military training in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

Yesterday the minister agreed to make arrangements for Julius Malema, together with other senior members of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL), to undergo two weeks of military training by the SANDF. The agreement followed a discussion about the proposed voluntary national service programme.

It is imperative that the defence force does not get drawn into party politics: a two week period of military training for Julius Malema and senior members of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) risks politicising the defence force and undermining the principle of non partisanship of the SANDF.

The DA therefore calls on the minister to:
take steps to protect the defence force from being used as a political tool; and
to reverse her decision to allow Julius Malema to undergo two weeks of military training by the defence force.

The fact is that the defence force should not be used to support what amounts to little more than a political stunt by Julius Malema and the ANCYL.


David Maynier, MP – 071 534 6398

Ross van der Linde – 076 543 7254