'We did the burning for you' – Nzimande to youth

2016-07-03 15:33
Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini sings ahead of his address at the Young Communist League's manifesto launch in Johannesburg  (Mpho Raborife, News24)

Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini sings ahead of his address at the Young Communist League's manifesto launch in Johannesburg (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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Johannesburg  There was no need to burn institutions of higher learning in a democratic South Africa, SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande told youths on Sunday.

“We did all the burning for you before 1994. Now there is no need to burn any buildings,” Nzimande told a hall full of Young Communist League members in Johannesburg.

Nzimande was addressing the YCL’s youth month manifesto launch.

He said he could still remember the events of June 16 1976. He was 18 at the time and a first year University of Zululand student.

When news broke of events in Soweto that day, the students at the university were facing their own challenges. This had led to them rejecting their dining hall food and going on a hunger strike.

“It seemed we were not going to complete our studies that year,” Nzimande said.

Destruction of property

During that period and following years, the fight against apartheid had escalated to include destruction of property.

Instead of repeating these actions, the youth now needed to rather focus on continuing their studies. That was the best way to honour the youth of 1976, he said.

Nzimande said the majority of South Africa’s youth were working class children and among the country’s poorest citizens. This was why free higher education had become such an important matter for the youth.

“Socialism is the only answer faced by humanity today, not capitalism. That’s why South Africa today is such a rich country, but we don’t have free higher education.”

He said students demanding the government provide them free higher education should redirect their demands to the South African capitalist system, because it had the money to make it happen, he said.

The youth’s struggle for free higher education was legitimate. The resources lay with South Africa’s business elite, he said.

“Whatever difficulties you have, we must transform and not destroy our higher education institutions,” he said.  



Read more on:    sacp  |  young communist league  |  blade nzimande

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