Mr Malema’s Youth

I watched in amazment and horror last week when Mr Malema’s supporters ran amok in the streets.  Surely they had come to sing freedom songs and to have a  bit of a toyi-toyi outside Luthuli House.  What could have caused such chaos?

It turned out that they were being prevented from getting anywhere near Luthuli House and they were irate.  Presumably they had been bussed in from far. It was a rare opportunity to have their voices heard and their displeasure at the lack of prospects for the future expressed.  It’s their democratic right.  The Bill of Rights states clearly that they may toyi-toyi; lord knows everyone else has had a day in the streets.  It’s their turn.  Where better to stage their protest than outside Luthuli House where those who are supposed to be looking after their future are letting them down dreadfully; this coupled, of course, with the chastising of their outrageous leader, Mr Malema.

And then, blow me down if I don’t see these young people running, ducking and flinching as a result of being pelted with rubber bullets and water cannon.  It was nine o’clock in the morning, for heaven’s sake.  Mr Malema hadn’t even yet arrived at his chastising and already the people who had come to support him were being pelted with rubber bullets and drenched with water cannon?  How is that possible?  Who is it that has not the sense to open their mouths and speak to those who were getting agitated and calm them down?

Why were they being prevented from standing outside Luthuli House anyway? And why was Luthuli House surrounded in barbed wire?  What were those inside expecting?  Are they fearful for their lives?  Why? Are things in our country so bad in their estimation that they need barbed wire and water cannon?  I think that it is an extraordinarily violent response to justifiably angry young citizens, and if they are so quick to turn to rubber bullets and water cannon, how long before they start turning live ammunition on young justifiably angry citizens?  Democracy? Really?

Whatever the outcome of the chastising, these young people have much about which to remonstrate.  Among other things, there is 77% unemployment among the youth.  There are many among them who will never in their lives have a job, so they see no prospects for the future.  There is no welfare for them. They have nothing but their freedom to protest and they should be allowed to protest at Parliament, Luthuli House or Nkandla for that matter, because they need to be heard.  Are those at Luthuli House who are letting them down not interested in hearing them?  And after treating young South Africans like water cannon fodder, will they ask them for their vote?

I’m disappointed and dismayed. I’ve heard those who say that the youth are just a bunch of thugs.  I don’t agree.  I don’t think they are thugs.  What do you expect to happen when angry young people are pelted with rubber bullets and water cannon?  Naturally, they will do what they know how to do,  they will fight back.

I’m glad that they fight back.  South Africa’s youth have not given up on themselves.  They will not be oppressed.  They will fight for their future. They must fight for their future. Viva that!

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About Tselane Tambo

I share myself in these desultory ramblings. It’s my thoughts and memories; some anecdotes and opinions. It’s an accidental autobiography. When you’ve meandered through these pages you’ll be within reach of a little piece of me. Thank you for dropping by.
This entry was posted in Nocturnal Ramblings of a Mind Unplugged. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Mr Malema’s Youth

  1. Very true Tselane. Lest we forget how South Africa gained independence. We should be exemplary in allowing freedom of speech before turning each and every situation volatile. Africa seems to thrive in using force even before it is necessary. Force should be used sparingly to avoid the barrel of the gun being the answer to Africa’s situations which always result in conflict over mundane things.

  2. Tsunami says:

    @Tselane, I was there and with a clean conscience mobilised young people in my neighbourhood to go to the Beyers Naude Square.
    First let me tell you who I am. I’m a 32 years old, married and have one beautiful daughter. This year I failed to register with Unisa to further my L.L.B. I’ve been paying for my studies from my pocket ever since but due reasons beyond control I could’nt anymore(I tried NSFAS to no avail). My wife is unemployed and find myself having to win bread in the true sense of the word. I’m a member of the ANC Youth League as well. In fact I’m the deputy chair-person of my branch.
    My convictions for actively taking part in this infamous yet historical ‘hooliganism’ was informed first and foremost by the understanding that the autonomy of the Youth League is in danger. The people who have are now wealthy through our efforts are now threatening to silence the only voice majority of the young people of this country has.
    The efforts to project Malema a worst buffoon in recent history were not successful and the only way was to do away with him. What these people know for sure is that it is not about Malema but the embarrasing child called the Youth League. It is not Malema who came up with nationalisation, programme for free tertiary education, expropriation of land from the white people, Botswana, Thabo Mbeki, etc. If indeed all these projects are Malema’s brainchild then we having a genius that would make OR Tambo jealous. Truth is, he and his NEC are articulating and communicating conference resolutions. I too contributed in the discussion documents leading to the Gallager Conference.
    The founding mission of the ANC Youth League was and remains to influence the ANC by bringing militancy and action in advancing the struggles of our people.
    I therefore have no regretts for my participation in that fateful week besides the burning of the flag and the t-shirt bearing the face of the president. Those who did so, and I don’t know them, were trying to portray the ANC that’s in shambles. They succeeded because they shocked us all.
    The plight of the young people of this country remains to get quality education so they can decide their destiny as equals with their peers on earth.

  3. Commentator24 says:

    They (Protestors) don’t see their real enemy- the Pied Piper of Polokwane. Democratic right to demonstrate, OK. Expectations of being in a precise location, promoted by the purposeful agitors, OK, I can get that although methinks an evil agenda was at hand. Protestors feeling disenfranchised after (yawn) so many years of acclaimed democracy in the lap of the chosen ruling government (we are still in the learning phase- we, the post- apartheid regime) PUKE. What is needed here is real empathy shown by the country’s leaders for ALL South Africans and honest commitment to the empowerment of individuals who are willing to make the required sacrifice to get one bit better today than yesterday. The promise of “economic freedom in our lifetime” when we nationalise mines smacks of “a chicken in every pot”- an outright lie which has been exposed in history and will be transparent to those who can read and learn to protect themselves from the self-serving false prophet.

  4. Tsunami says:

    My comment still awaiting moderation? Or Is there somethin wrong I did?

  5. plaintain1 says:

    Yes, this is something similar to the rioting in London. The rioters were seen as a bunch of thugs etc but when the youth express themselves in this manner, should we just write them off as a bunch of thugs or should we check the underlying problems?

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