Outspoken member of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) Mcebo Dlamini has condemned those who allege he’s not eligible to be an ANC member due to the accusation that he’s “not South African”.
His recent criticism of the party made him a target for those hoping to dismiss him by questioning his citizenship credentials.
Even though he holds Swazi citizenship, Dlamini says he is South African “by descent”, and he holds a South African ID. Dlamini, who says both his parents are South African, says those who are questioning his citizenship are clueless about history. During the apartheid era, many politically active black South Africans were forced to live in exile. Because of the long years these people spent outside the country, they started families outside the country.
Dlamini says he’s one of those who were born outside the country, in Swaziland, while his parents were in exile. The politician, who made headlines recently for his call for President Jacob Zuma to resign and for being part of the #OccupyLuthuliHouse movement, told The Citizen he had a right to participate in South African politics, not only because he was “South African by descent”, but because he paid tax and could even vote here.
He added that his citizenship could not be an argument that Africans should be having currently, as “it’s divisive”.
Dlamini offered the example that as much as half of President Zuma’s children were also allegedly born in Swaziland.
“I have never seen foreign nationals voting. A lot of our parents were forced to go live in exile during the apartheid era.
“Half of Zuma’s children were born in Swaziland. Does that make them foreign nationals? I am a citizen of this country by descent. Both of my parents are South African. I vote here. I pay tax here, and I will participate in politics here.”
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On the ANC’s website, the party states its membership requirements as follows:
Membership of the ANC is open to all South Africans above the age of 18 years, irrespective of race, colour and creed, who accept its principles, policies and programmes and are prepared to abide by its Constitution and rules.
Others who may apply for membership include:
- Spouses or children of South Africans who have manifested a clear identification with the South African people and its struggle;
- People who are resident in South Africa and have manifested a clear identification with the South African people and their struggle.
The Occupy Luthuli House march, took place on Monday, with Dlamini among the organisers. He said the aim was not to physically occupy the ANC’s headquarters, “buy to occupy the minds”. He added that the struggle to remove Zuma as president of the country would continue. He said he would be going to the Liliesleaf Farm branch of the ANC to “influence” ANC members to take the fight forward”.
“Yesterday was just the beginning. We knew they [the ANC] would not do anything. We are going to the branches. I am going to influence my branch.”
He also took a swipe at the ANCYL, saying it was being led by “political substitutes and political menopause parachuted from opposition”. He said some of them were from the Democratic Alliance (DA). As for Umkhonto weSizwe, he asked how a 30-year-old could be a veteran of the ANC’s “armed wing”. This was the same sentiment shared by EFF national chairperson Dali Mpofu, who argued: “If u were born AFTER June 1976 u CANNOT be an MKVeteran..Because u were 14 years old or less when [when] we disbanded MK in 1990!
If u were born AFTER June 1976 u CANNOT be an MKVeteran..Because u were 14years old or less when we disbanded MK in 1990! #NyaopeSoldiers
— Dali Mpofu (@AdvDali_Mpofu) September 6, 2016