Wednesday, 2 March 2016


The Chairman of the Social Democratic Front, for the South African Region says the newly elected Socialist Youth Movement executive, otherwise known as the Youth league is expected to ‘radicalize’ Cameroonians and especially the youths.

Milton Taka, in this exclusive interview said it is possible for the youths to get organized and take the responsibility of defining the future they want to create for themselves.  

He insists that the non-violent socialist youths would be functioning within the constitution of the party and outlines their other specific mission…

Read on for full interview…

What is the position of the Youth League, YL, within the SDF and the Cameroonian Constitution?

M.T: The Youth League is one of the three important organs of the party as per the convention that took place between the 11 -14 of October 2012 in Bamenda, North West of Cameroon. The position of the National Socialists Youths Coordinator was created with a mandate to organize youths in order to continue to strive for the ideals for which the SDF was born.  We don’t call it the Youth League as per the SDF constitution, but Socialist Youths.

I wish to be precise that Section 13.21 of the constitution gives all party organs the mandate to create socialist youth structures. But that of South Africa is a socialist youth organ. The chairperson elected on February 27 is not called the Youth League chair as that of the ANC but is called Socialist Youth Coordinator or Chairman as per the SDF constitution.

But the idea of the Youth League Chairman and the Youth League seem to create some anxiety from what we have heard and read so far? What makes the difference?

The reality is that, it is semantics. Whether you call it socialist youth or youth league the bottom line is that we are saying youths can organize themselves and take the responsibility of defining the future they want to create for themselves.

How important is the League for the party at this point in time in history of Cameroon politics?

I have no doubt that when many people hear of the youth league or the socialist youth of the SDF especially from the South African Region, it makes them really scared. This might be informed to a very large extent by the very important role that the African National Congress, ANC (South African ruling party) Youth League has been playing  over the decades in shaping South African politics.

We don’t doubt. We have studied the Cameroon situation as SDF South Africa and before the convention in 2012 we did a lot of lobbying to precise the importance of the youths when it comes to our struggle. 

We convinced delegates at the convention and the Youth league was included in the SDF constitution. It is very important to state that the Youth League was not part of the SDF when it was formed in 1990. 

As SDF SA we have studied movements in Southern America and other areas and we concluded that when we have a youth that is radicalized to propagate the fundamental principles that the party was formed a youth movement becomes a very important vehicle to effect change.The SDF in 2016 has not departed from its founding objectives that were enshrined in the constitution in 1990. 

Let me just touch two aspects because people would be asking whether we are another Economic Freedom Fighter, EFF? (one of the opposition parties in SA whose membership seem to be mostly disgruntled ANC Youth league militants. 

EFF is headed by ousted ANC Youth League Chair, Julius Malema). No we are not. With the constitution enacted in 2012 this is the mandate of the Socialist Youths. 

 I quote: “The National socialist youth coordinator shall be responsible for mobilizing, rallying and galvanizing all the Cameroonian youths with the view to promoting the ideology and ideals of the party, the assertion and membership to the party, and the facilitation of the implementation and or carrying out of directives and activities.” 

It’s important to say that these are the founding principles on which Comrade Belmondo Achiri and his team would have to stand on. Again Section 3 of the SDF constitution is very important. Section 3.1 says “the objectives of the SDF are to mobilize, rally and galvanize Cameroonians into a united force.” The three key words here are mobilize, rally and galvanize. 

Lastly, Section 3.2 of the SDF constitution says “The SDF shall also pursue winning power through elections, make good government, build and protect the nation, encourage commerce, promote equal opportunities, advance science and technology and industry develop and conserve human and natural resources”. We are within the constitution.

What’s the immediate mission of the new Youth League leadership?

The immediate mandate is to liaise with the socialist youth organ of the party back at home in Cameroon, ensure that we win the next election at all cost, by rallying mobilizing and radicalizing the youths. 

The aspect of radicalizing is very important. It is making the youths know that it is their responsibility to have a country that is ruled based on the principles of justice, fairness.

“Radicalizing” could be linked to terrorism, instituting disorder or violence…Don’t you think people might misconstrue the mission of the SDF Youth league Mr Chairman?

Not at all. We are not militants using any violent means to get what we want. We are members and in a democratic set up .It means that we would use the democratic means possible to ensure that Cameroonians are not abused as the CPDM system has been abusing them in terms of not respecting the very constitution on which that country was built. The Youth League will use every possible means to make Cameroonians understand and defend the constitution of the country.  

That perspective of radicalism is fundamentally flawed and could only be used by those scared of positive change and preferring the status quo. It is only in a very sick country that policemen will have specific positions along the road where bribes are collected, everyone knows it and most citizens comply with it declaring it is normal. 

The same applies with most of our exams into professional bodies. How do you give a judiciary system a pass mark when many have to pay for justice amid delays? Is it not true that justice delayed is justice denied? Corruption and fraud is now endemic. 

How do you explain that the country's maximum security prison has more than a dozen very senior Ex-government officials from an Ex-Prime Minister, Secretary Generals at the presidency, to many ministers and heads of parastatals? 

What does that tell you? When the head is rotten the body is bound to decay. Only radical transformation of our thinking, our value systems, our institutions, and a new culture of accountability at all levels of government, and the realization of separation of powers between the executive, judiciary and legislature can realign Cameroon towards a path of deliberate growth and development.

These ideals require radical shifts from the status quo. SDF SA and the Socialist Youths cannot be stopped until our country takes its place in the League of Nations as democratic, peaceful country, led by a government that is developmental and caring. 

So our primary mandate adequately covered by both the Cameroon constitution and that of the SDF is to stand and advocate for radical political, economic and social reforms that will bring about far reaching positive changes in our country. 

That is called progressive and constructive radicalism. Our radicalism is non-violent, in line with the founding and existence of our party, the SDF. Our members in both SDF SA and our SY movement have adopted this noble stance and our commitment as leadership is, we will deliver on it, God on our side.

How different is the SDF Socialist Youth league Movement from the South African Youth league?

We have been inspired by the ANC Youth league and we would want the SDF youth league to play a very similar role. We want to say that by playing that role it has to be within the ambits of constructive politicking. We do not subscribe to destructive politics. We do not think it would benefit Cameroon.

Do you think Cameroonians and the youths would listen to this message?

Cameroonians across the board a hungry for change. They are looking for a new message and anybody who can give them hope. And without doubt, we know that the Socialist Youth of SDF SA in particular stands in a wonderful position to inspire Cameroonians and that we can make that country truly a country of milk and honey. 

We are telling our people that it is possible to get the government you want, it is possible to hold the government accountable. It is possible to turn Cameroon away from strong people who are not respecting the constitution. We make everyone know he is equal before the law including the president. We think our message would be received.


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