The Guard

The Truth On Board


By Bongani Tshabalala

BLOEMFONTEIN- Free State ANC Provincial Working committee (PWC) member Thembeni Nxangisa has called for radical youth reawakening and active participation in the fight for economic emancipation.

He was speaking at the Solomon Mahlangu Memorial Lecture which was held at Klein Magasa Hall in Bochabela, Bloemfontein. 

“The event is aimed at commemorating the death of the former Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) operative in 1979. Mahlangu was accosted and arrested by apartheid securocrats while on a mission sanctioned by the then exiled ANC leadership based in Lusaka, Zambia. His hanging on 6 April 1979 on a murder charge brought worldwide condemnation of the apartheid regime and its brutality. It also added to international solidarity in calling for an end to legislated racial oppression of black South Africans.”

 Quoting the late former ANC youth league leader and first party President Moses Kotane, Nxangisa said young people needed to take up leadership roles as the future of the country depends on them.

“The youth of the 1940’s led by Kotane, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela found expression for their radical views in the ANC youth league”, he noted.

Nxangisa added that generation militancy had negated the peaceful, passive engagement the ANC had been using to engage an intransigent apartheid establishment. He recalled Kotane told young people they wielded power to shape what the future of the country should look like, citing the late leaders’ words remained relevant and resonate to this day.

Thebile Nqabeni.

Nxangisa challenged young people of today to identify and fulfil their generational mission as did all the other young people during their time.

Mangaung ANC youth league leader and facilitator of the Solomon Mahlangu memorial lecture, Thembile Nqabeni echoed Nxangisa’s sentiments on calling youth to action.

Nqabeni revealed that the ANC youth league in the province is set to undertake a search for 25 young people to undergo political training on the party’s policies, operations, and methods. The online training would involve the study of four modules in the ANC and upon completion the students will be enrolled for a further intensified 13 modules courses enabling them to join the Solomon Youth Cadre’s programme. The flagship programme seeks to utilise Mahlangu’s rich history of bravery in the face of apartheid brutality to rally and conscientise young people around the mission, objective, and operations of the ANC.

 Nqabeni indicated that soon the ANC shall be strictly led by members who have undergone this training without exception. The Free State ANC youth participants in the programme are set to join their counterparts from around the country to make up the initial 1000 Solomon Youth cadres as envisaged by the organisation. Nqabeni said the onus is on young people of today to identify with their generational mission of attaining economic freedom in this lifetime. To do this they need to be well informed about the state of the economy to sharpen their understanding of the dynamics involved, and to broaden their views. Though young people were operating business and cooperatives, these were not effectively run and making headway.

Nqabeni pointed out this could be attributed to young people not working together and being in competition with one another instead of joining forces.  “Comrades you can’t join an organisation and lead it without being able to articulate on its policies. We join the revolution because what we want is change; you have to be the change you dream of seeing”, he added.