‘Nothing new about Juju row’

2012-02-14 00:00

THE founding president of the ANC, John Langalibalele Dube, was just 31 years old when he became the president of the party — the same age as ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema today.

But Dube was disciplined, and by the time he became ANC president he had already founded a newspaper and a school.

This was one of the points made by Zamani Jali, chairperson of the John Dube Foundation, in a talk held at Hilton College yesterday.

Jali and other members of the Dube family were at Hilton College as part of a year-long South African schools lecture tour that the foundation is undertaking.

Jali’s son, Sizo, a great-grandson of Dube, is a Hilton old boy and remains active in the school’s marketing committee.

Jali told the gathering of schoolboys, who packed the Hilton College theatre, that the Malema squabble in the ANC was hardly new.

He told of another such squabble in the 1950s when there was a difference of opinion between the youth in Natal and then ANC president Chief Albert Luthuli. The youth did not want to register to attend bantustan universities.

He said Luthuli’s advice was: “Go there and prove that the education they are giving you is not worth your brains — for you have nowhere else to go and yet you need some education.”

The youth relented, said Jali, and this was why the foundation was conducting school visits — to make young South Africans aware of Dube’s legacy of discipline, the importance of education, respect for others and service to mankind.

“The nurturing of legacies is not about people …

“Its purpose is to inspire generations of humankind, for humankind’s own benefit,” he said.

The foundation is also raising funds to rebuild the Ohlange Institute in Inanda,, Durban, the school that Dube founded.

Jali said the foundation also intended to research issues that had become topical, such as land ownership and nationalisation.

This was to contribute to the national debate about issues that were as challenging to Dube a hundred years ago as they were today.

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