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Shortly before Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated as president of the United States in 1933, famed American reporter Walter Lippman said:
"The enduring popularity of public men does not come from trying to guess what the people will applaud but from conveying to them the feeling that they can rely on the superior judgment of that man when they need him. It is no comfort whatever to know that he is a good judge of public opinion; they really will trust him only if they have some evidence that he is a good judge of the public interest."
Lippman was reportedly annoyed by Roosevelt's desire to be popular and his pussyfooting around sensitive issues so as not to offend.
In an era where the rallying cries of populists, opportunists and extremists are everywhere, knowing who truly has the interests of the people at heart can be a challenge.
In South Africa, a new cohort of leaders is slowly rising through the ranks and will eventually replace the old guard of struggle stalwarts in government. With millennial ambition and thousands of Twitter followers, they are vying for positions of leadership in government. But do these young leaders have what it takes to govern South Africa and all its complexities?
In this week's edition of News24's Friday Briefing, Tshidi Madia looks at who South Africa's young leaders of the future are. News24 columnist Mpumelelo Mkhabela asks what the qualities are South Africans should look for in their leaders and ANC NEC member Ronald Lamola writes why he thinks the ANC is still the party for the future.
Let us know what you think by tweeting @News24, or commenting on our Facebook page.
Alet Janse van Rensburg
News24 Opinions Editor
Are these the future leaders of South Africa?
Today, more and more South Africans struggle to identify with the glory and trust once shared in our national leaders. The young leaders who will pick up the baton from the current generation will therefore have to earn the trust of the people again in a legitimate and credible way. It remains uncertain who will step into the void.
Popularity vs ability in the leadership debate
Leaving the emergence of good leadership to the fortunes of popularity will not take the country further because popularity can be purchased; ability can't. The time to start debating leadership abilities is not immediately before or during elective conferences where rationality habitually gives way to other considerations.
The future of the ANC is bright
Our members and leaders should be beyond reproach and should be the high moral standards through which society sets its own standards of morality. To reach these higher standards we'll need sacrifice and high commitments to the values of the founding fathers of the ANC.
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