The nomination of Jacob Zuma to return to Parliament is not only a disregard to ANC’s ordinary voters but also an attempt to ensure that deployment to senior leadership roles within the ANC remain hegemonized by corrupt retirees who have less or no interests of changing the lives of South Africans for the better.
While majority of South Africans are set to vote for representatives to fight and eradicate national enemies such as high unemployment rate, corruption, poverty, inequality and crime among many quandaries the ANC necessitate to use the voters’ power to fight personal political war that will never in millions of years benefit people of South Africa.
The least embarrassing part of this issue is that while the same government believes that at the age of 60 and 65 public servants should be released from their duties through normal retirement, the ANC believes at the age of 70 and above it is then normal for one to get an opportunity to snore in parliament benches.
The worst part is to see the excitement of youth within ANC branches getting excited that the reappearance of former president Zuma will offer him a chance to frustrate his enemies. It is strange that our youth fail to understand their leadership potential and existence beyond Zuma’s satisfaction. They normalize their own challenges like unemployment and exclusion from positions of power that have the potential of producing new ideas that help may resolve the challenges of the youth. If we believe Zuma need a comfortable space to fight back and frustrate his enemies as he alludes, home is a perfect space to do, particularly his controversial Nkandla. That is even more possible with comfort of Nkadla palace and his new highly followed twitter account. The People of South Africa are not voting to ensure leaders a position to settle personal wars that have been lost before, but to transform their leaving conditions. People in Alexandra and Mdantsane are not interested and have nothing to gain in giving power to the party that is only interested in frustrating Zuma’s enemies. The growing number of unemployed graduates is not going to make income over frustrated Zuma enemies. As young people we must remain thankful to leaders like President Zuma for fighting for freedom of this country but at the same time appreciate history that teaches us how African leaders find it difficult to give up powers and as a results they hinder the prosperity of the citizenry as whole.
The demise of the ANCYL has led to a situation whereby the party ceased to be having “Youth league” to having youth in the party. The role of the youth league has changed from setting an agenda for the mother body like ANCYL of 1952, that adopted Programme of Action that was superficial in the execution of the Defiance Campaign, to that of supporting whatever view the retirees have, even if it is against the prosperity of the youth of this country. The youth league has lost its capacity to lead the struggle of the youth like the Youth of Anton Lembede and that of 1970s, that fought against Bantu education to celebrating a very expensive tertiary education that is termed “Free education”.
The ANCYL of today disregards its peers and determined comrades like Bonginkosi Khanyile and Khanya Cekeshe who are today spending their Christmas in prison for standing up for the rights of the students, to defending incompetence of those who struggle to lead the nation to the promised better life, like Bathabile Dlamini. The focus of the youth of ANC has shifted from standing up to the struggles of fellow young people like many FeesMustFall activist who are facing jail terms without financial and legal support, to defending retirees whom have exhausted state resources through building personal palaces and self-enrichment.
The solutions to all the problems facing the youth of South Africa will only come from the youth themselves. The notion that someone must be nominated to parliament because they have been in parliament since 1994 is nonsensical in many ways. Firstly, the fact that many of them have been in parliament for almost three decades and yet we are still facing same problems is a non-negotiable evidence of failure. Deploying oldies to parliament based on struggle credentials have proved that their struggle for democracy have changed a struggle to deliver to the people of South Africa, hence they always say, ‘struggle continue’.
Our struggle icons need to appreciate that many of them were young when they conquered the struggle of their times and it is about time, they allow the current youth to deal with their struggles. While we appreciate their contribution that shaped the history of this country, I believe they can still play an advising role to the future of this country which is the youth. It is unacceptable to have to have 250 retirees out 400 members of parliament and it must also be unparliamentary to have 90 years like Dr Mangosuthi Buthelezi sleeping in Parliament while a 30 years old unemployed graduate is also sleeping at home awaiting for solutions from government.
As young people we cannot celebrate when the retirees are deployed in government so that they can be well positioned to fight their personal enemies as government have responsibility to fight against the national enemies such as poverty, unemployment and the demonic attach on women and children. The nomination of a 76 years old Jacob Zuma to possibly celebrate his 81st birthday in parliament is a continuous attempt cage the potential of young leaders and to ensure that their capability to change the status quo remain limited.