Winnie echoes Mbeki to say no to tribalism

2013-10-06 10:01

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has joined former president Thabo Mbeki in condemning the resurgence of tribalism in South Africa. Madikizela-Mandela was addressing a gathering of international delegates at the One Young World Summit held in Sandton, Johannesburg.

In her criticism of tribalism last night, Madikizela-Mandela spoke against the use of slogans like “100% Venda”, or “110% Tswana”.

She said: “This is a death knell for a democracy for which we fought so hard, a democracy whose Constitution in our country was written in blood.” She was echoing Mbeki, who spoke at the Bethesda Methodist Church in the north of Johannesburg on Thursday.

In what she saw as challenges facing young people in South Africa today, Madikizela-Mandela spoke against the “vulgarity of the izikhothane” culture among young people. She also spoke about incidents where a number of young people were caught on camera while engaging in improprieties. She cited an incident she says her daughter shared with her, involving a cellphone broadcast conversation of girls from Mamelodi East offering themselves to strangers. The other incident involved a video that depicted two young girls stripping naked in bushes, with a group of young boys watching on. These girls had the boys take turns to perform lewd sexual acts on them while others cheered them on.

Madikizela-Mandela warned of the dangers faced by young people while using digital technologies and social media. She urged that “modern technologies dictate that you take charge of your space. This includes your cellphones and laptops.”

She then told the gathered youth that they had the right to demand access to information.

She said that youth unemployment is a ticking time bomb and education was key to unlocking a better future.

“You have the right to demand to know what your government does with your money and resources,” she said. The summit, which ended last night, brought together more than 1?000 young people from around the world. It is the only youth-dominated event outside the Olympic Games that prides itself on bringing together so many people from diverse countries under one umbrella.

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