Gwede Mantashe: Youth can only run the country if they are in the ANC

2014-04-12 20:45

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe told university students they could only run the country if they belonged to the ANC.

He told about 30 students at a meeting in a University of Johannesburg residence today they should ensure their future by voting ANC.

“We will not be here permanently. We are at the tail end of running this country,” he said about his fellow leaders.

“You will be running this country into the future, but you can only run the country if you are in the ANC.

“The ANC is the only movement. Everybody else is a political party. So there is only one movement and many political parties. The future is in the movement and not political parties.

“Political parties are election machinery, a movement is ever there, dealing with issues.”

He said ANC volunteers should be on the scene first when a child is raped, when an old woman is robbed or if there is drug abuse in a community.

“We are looking forward to you building that future and [being] that future yourself.”

Mantashe earlier in his short speech said born-frees should know their history so they don’t “commit mistakes in the name of change”.

“Once you are a born-free and you can’t identify to your history, you are like a tree with no roots,” he told the students when they didn’t respond with “amandla” enthusiastically enough when he started his speech.

“You don’t know where you come from, you can’t be clever of where you’re going to. So knowing who you are and where you come from is quite important to you as young people, because if you want to avoid the mistakes of the past, you must know.

“If you want to avoid going back to the time of apartheid, you must know what apartheid was.

“If you don’t know that part of history, you are not going to be wise enough to know what you should do. You are going to revert and commit mistakes in the name of change and move the country back to where it came from.”

Mantashe didn’t mention the opposition party by name. The DA has been targeting the younger generation to vote for it because born-frees do not have nostalgic links to the ANC.

Mantashe told the students, many of them supporters of SA Students Congress, to vote for the ANC on May 7. “Vote for change, vote for progress, vote for taking this country forward. Vote for your own future so that we make it.

“It is not what we have done that is important to you, it is what you are going to do to take forward the country where we left and take the country to a higher level,” he said.

He said many South Africans were “illegal” under apartheid, not regarded as citizens, and driven to bantustans.

But today, people could work and live anywhere they like, he said.

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