Leadership must not suppress young people – Motlanthe

2016-03-20 12:15
Kgalema Motlanthe (Picture: GCIS)

Kgalema Motlanthe (Picture: GCIS)

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Pietermaritzburg – Former president Kgalema Motlanthe has reiterated the need for younger people to be given the platform to present new ideas, warning that failure to do this would render the ruling party irrelevant in the country’s political landscape in future.

He was speaking at the Truman Magubane lecture at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall on Friday evening.

Motlanthe spent 10 years in the same cell on Robben Island with Magubane, who is the chief whip at Msunduzi Municipality [Pietermaritzburg].

The event was attended by the rank and file of the ruling party in the Moses Mabhida region, which is regarded as one of ANC president Jacob Zuma’s main support bases.

“When we speak of the youth in the ANC we are referring to young people who are energetic, full of ideas and innovation. Our role as the organisation is to create space for them, not suppress them, for tomorrow belongs to young people," said Motlanthe.

He cautioned the older generation against transferring their fear to the youth.

The former president emphasised the importance of political education, citing this as the lifeblood in which ideas and perspectives would be explored, especially by the youth. 

He told the audience, which included former eThekwini regional chairperson Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, that the leadership had an obligation to nurture the youth and should provide support rather than rebuke new ideas.

“If the youth makes mistakes we should celebrate this for it is an excellent problem to be had. The history of the ANC Youth League shows that they introduced radical perspectives. We need the energy of the youth to push boundaries,” he said.

The information age, said Motlanthe, presented an ideal chance for the youth to explore different perspectives in the ruling party and the leadership should harness such energy and channel it in the right direction.

Read more on:    anc  |  kgalema motlanthe  |  pietermaritzburg  |  politics  |  youth

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