'Lead the war on Aids, crime'

2008-06-16 00:00

Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has urged the youth to lead from the front the war to stem the tide of crime, poverty, HIV/Aids, illiteracy and other social ills plaguing the country.

Addressing thousands of IFP Youth Brigade supporters at a rally held at kwaMashu’s Princess Magogo Stadium yesterday, Buthelezi warned that such social ills are leading to the country’s degeneration.

These, Buthelezi said, threaten “to take us backwards in terms of economic growth, morality, health, welfare, education, security, employment, stability, unity and hope”.

The answer to this, he added, is for the youth to get involved.

“If we allow degeneration to continue, this generation will have much less to look forward to than my generation has now. And that makes no sense in a world that is moving forward and a country that is politically free. You, the young people, need to become politically active and rally against degeneration in all its forms.”

Buthelezi spoke strongly against the government’s apparent failure to deal decisively on the scourge of HIV/ Aids and crime.

“The ANC-led government is still slow to admit that Aids is a problem. One leader says there is no link between HIV and Aids. Another says you must eat garlic and beetroot. Another thinks that taking a shower after intercourse will wash away the virus! South Africa needs a political leadership that admits to the problem and proactively finds a way to fight it,” he said to roaring applause.

On crime he said: “Today, school children experience intimidation and violence in their own classrooms from their own teachers and classmates. Gang activities, bullying, sexual abuse and harassment are common in schools today. It is almost as if the fight of yesterday has evolved into a beast with no name”.

Meanwhile, Premier S’bu Ndebele, also addressed thousands of people who gathered to commemorate June 16 at the kwaMsane Sports Ground in Mtubatuba yesterday.

Ndebele said the youth needed to preserve the gains of democracy and urged young people to stay off drugs and crime.

“As long as millions of our people live in shacks, when children go hungry and die of preventable diseases, when people cannot read and write, when people infected and affected by HIV and Aids are stigmatised and marginalised, it indicates that our work is far from complete,” he said.

bmbanjwa@witness.co.za

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