Lazy, money-worshipping ANC youth a disgrace

2012-07-14 08:01

This week’s disruptive activities that marred the Nelson Mandela centenary lecture in Limpopo have once again harmed the image of South Africa’s youth.

For some time now, the intellect of young people has been suffocating in the doldrums of sweet-sounding yet empty political rhetoric; rational debate has been dethroned by sheer anarchy and crude confrontation.

The Youth League of Anton Lembede, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Ashby Mda, Duma Nokwe, James Njongweni, Dan Tloome, Ida Mtwa, Lilian Ngoye, William Nkomo and Malusi Gigaba has now become a monumental disgrace and a costly liability to the ANC and the project of nation-building.

In the past, the youth leadership understood their role in the broader life of the liberation movement as two-fold: rallying young people behind the vision of the liberation movement and championing the interests of the youth.

To execute these responsibilities with distinction, young people knew that they needed to be armed with academic and political education.

Above everything, they knew and accepted the need to learn from their seniors in the movement.

This generation of youth leaders canvassed their ideas within the broader policy discipline of the movement through intellectual engagement and persuasion and not imposition and anarchic behaviour.

Through this, youth leaders such as Lembede, Mandela, Sisulu and many others were able to be refined and produced by the movement as finished material, ready to power the movement towards its historic objectives.

As such, these young leaders became dependable pillars without which the organisation would struggle to move forward, yet they never became pompous and considered themselves indispensable.

They knew that their influence and stature was dialectically linked to the organisation that produced them.

As a result, their respect and loyalty to the organisation was always beyond question.

Today the ANC is infiltrated by an army of illiterate, lazy thinkers, a money-worshipping bunch masquerading as the voice of the youth.

Unlike the hallowed generation of Mandela, the youth leaders of today have no regard for education, little respect for the organisation’s seniors, tradition and culture.

Unlike the Mandela generation, today’s bunch of youth leadership cannot be credited with independent and rational thinking; instead they have ossified into political mercenaries available on hire to disrupt organisational activities.

Mandela and his comrades were motivated by service to the people; our so-called youth leaders are motivated by greed and the need to fill their bottomless pockets and ever-ballooning tummies via dubious and questionable means.

While former youth leaders such as Gigaba can be regarded as real products of the youth movement, those who lead us today cannot even pass an ANC DNA test.

The generation of Mandela sacrificed everything for the course of freedom.

Today’s youth leadership is ready to sacrifice the very ideals Mandela and his comrades stood for at the altar of material benefits.

The challenge is for all those young people who feel shamed by the current shenanigans in the youth leadership to stand up and take action to strangle this disgraceful new tendency.


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