South African’s National Liberation Movement

Close this search box.


We will never be diverted

When we accepted the responsibility to lead the African National Congress Youth League two years ago, we were under no illusion that being President of the ANC Youth League will be an easy task. We were totally aware that we are stepping into the shoes of former ANC YLPresidents Anton Lembede, Ashby Peter Mda, Nelson Mandela, Robert Resha, Joe Matthews, Patrick Moloao, Peter Mokaba, and Fikile Mbalula. We were also bound with the responsibility to continue with the ideals of Oliver Tambo, Congress Mbatha and Walter Sisulu. These are heroic and courageous former leaders of the ANC YL who stood firm and never compromised principle even when the prize for such courage was death.

We accepted the responsibility of leading the ANC YL fully aware that young people in South Africa, particularly the unemployed and poverty-stricken youth look up to the Youth League with justifiable hope that one day their lives will change for the better because of what the Youth League does. We were fully aware that Youth League generations before us had the greatest impact in shaping history and are today the world most celebrated freedom fighters, icons and beacons of hope for the oppressed. We were also aware that one of the former Presidents ofthe ANC YL, Patrick Moloao died in combat, fighting for the liberation of the people of Zimbabwe and subsequently South Africa in the Wankie Spolile Campaigns in the late 1960s.

The conditions of struggle have definitely changed and present to us the most dynamic and possibly most complicated platform to fight for social and economic emancipation of the black majority and Africans in particular. The founding generation of the ANC Youth League proclaimed Freedom in their lifetime and they did everything possible to realise freedom in their lifetime. They literally took up arms, were arrested, exiled, tortured, labelled criminals and terrorists, and isolated from their loved ones, yet they never surrendered the struggle to emancipate the oppressed and exploited people of South Africa. As this generation of youth, we are inspired by the founding generation of the ANC YL and carry upon us a responsibility to usher in economic freedom in our lifetime. Economic freedom means the total realisation of the Freedom Charter objectives, and we are under no illusion that such will be a easy task.

Like in all revolutions, we expected the sort of opposition and diversions we experienced overthe past week, where the profit driven media spread damaging rumours and sought to question our integrity as leadership of the ANC YL. All sorts of slander was spread associated with thekind of work we do, somewhat with an undertone that wanted to link us to corrupt practices. In more than one instance, our principle and values have always been anti-corruption and our fight against corruption is not conducted in Newsrooms, but through open confrontation of corrupt tendencies. We have in more than one occasion called upon those who know corrupt individuals, both on the private and public sector to approach the leadership of the Youth League so that we expose them and report them to law enforcement agencies.

When two Sunday Newspapers published stories they both believed were exclusive and convinced were great exposition of myself in my responsibility as President of the ANC Youth League, the leadership collective decided to rapidly respond in order to dismiss the undertones that linked us to irregular and corrupt practices. Our rapid response was never about accounting to the media, but using the media as a channel to speak to our many members and supporters of the ANC so that they are not victims of profit driven media propaganda. We vigorously dealt with all the issues that were presented to us and when satisfied with the response of Youth League members and millions of supporters of the ANC, we closed the whole chapter to focus on other important tasks of the organisation.

Certain revelations came out in the process of engaging the entire discourse of media conducted lifestyle audits. First is the racist notion and supposition expressed by both black and white people that the success and progress of black youth in the post democratic dispensation is automatically a consequence of corruption. This notion should be openly confronted and exposed as it has potential to undermine our hard won freedom to participate actively in theeconomy.

Second is the notion that seeks to criminalise all entrepreneurs that provide services to government as inherently corrupt and unethical, and labelled tenderpreneurs who have no brain and skill to do anything productive. The question we should ask is who should provide services to the State if all black entrepreneurs who put up consulting and construction firms are going to be rubbished as inherently corrupt tenderpreneurs.

Thirdly is the possible reality that our friends in the struggle are not always our friends and have potential to donate one of their own to the opponents of change. The reality of the situation is that a insignificant and potentially dangerous group within the alliance was celebrating the fact that media scavengers as portrayed us as corrupt individuals. This tendency is reflected within calls to infiltrate the ANC in order to misguide it to something it is not. This calls upon all of us, particularly youth to be more vigilant and defend the national democratic revolution and the ANC.

As a concrete way forward, we have already mentioned that we will never allow young entrepreneurs to be intimidated out of doing legitimate and corrupt-free business, including through proving services to the State. These opportunities were denied to the African majority inthe past and in the democratic dispensation, white dominated corporations in civil, construction and other vital sectors continue to treat qualified black people as non-entities and juniors to less qualified children of white owners of the means of production. Entrepreneurs should be more vigorous, more innovative and daring to bid for bigger projects from the State as a way of ensuring that majority of our people are properly skilled and enjoy economic opportunities that came with freedom. No one should ever be apologetic for providing quality service to the State when called upon to do so.

The confusion that we should categorically clarify though is that young people’s involvement in business activities is in no way opposed to our call for the Nationalisation of Mines. TheFreedom Charter guarantees all people’s entry into professions and trade of their own choice inthe context where Mines, banks and monopoly industries are transferred to the ownership of thepeople as a whole. We will never allow any sort of Right-wing and Left-wing distraction to overcome our determination to influence the nationalisation of Mines in our lifetime. Whilst not opposed to the lifestyle audits, our conviction is that the capitalist system is the one that should be audited and checked as how is it useful in the empowerment of our people and improvement of their living conditions. We will never loose focus and fight over insignificant amount of resources, whilst we have a bigger struggle to fight.

Aluta Continua.


More Articles

 Water Scarcity in SA
17 November 2022
South Africa’s GBV scourge is a tale of two tragedies 6 November 2022
Social compacts integral to SA’s development 09 October 2022
A prosperous SA depends on unified, focused ANC 02 September 2022
Recovery may be slow and imperceptible but it is under way 21 August 2022
Violating the rights of women and girls will not stop HIV and AIDS: The folly of forced virginity testing 
Nkandla needs sober minds
Sterile thinking inflicted Dr. Pityana
Mangaung – Leaders account to members
Lessons for the ANC from Polokwane Conference
Long road from KZN to Mangaung
United Nations and the African National Congress partners in the Struggle against Apartheid
The Women’s Liberation Struggle
Violence – It`s everyone`s issue
Happy Birthday Tata Madiba
Article based on a speech delivered at an informal meeting of the UN General Assembly on Nelson Mandela International Day
The touchy issue of sex work cannot be overlooked
The content of the Constitution must align with its intent
GANDHI and the formation of The African National Congress of South Africa
Why concerted campaign against the ANC in Limpopo and the ANCYL?
Nelson Mandela: The Symbol of Resistance
We will never be diverted
THE NDR, African Leadership and Non-Racialism
Mineral wealth beneath the soil and mines should be transfered to the ownership of the people as a whole
Youth Month and Beyond: The ANCYL remains a home for all young people
Our generation should fulfil its mission in defence of the ANC
The Youth stands to benefit more on the continuation of affirmative action and Black Economic Empowerment
Albert Luthuli and the African National Congress: A Bio-Bibliography Author(s): Dorothy C. Woodson
There are no ANC Camps, article by Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki
The Democratic Alliance is suffering from willful amnesia
People`s Power – the 20th Anniversary of the UDF
The road to chaos can be stopped in Kwazulu Natal
The Defiance Campaign: After 50 years, the spirit of service and sacrifice lives on
Women and the African National Congress: 1912-1943
ANC was his family, the struggle was his life: A tribute to Govan Mbeki
Hambe Kahle, Govan Mbeki
Hamba kahle Oom Gov
Nelson Mandela Foundation responds to report in the Daily Telegraph
Article by Dr Zweli Mkhize on the HIV/AIDS debate
DP Bugging Allegation
Comments by Dr Delport on a speech by President Mbeki at the International Anti-Corruption Conference
A Note to our Revolutionary Comrades in Government
Never mind the elephants – what about farmworkers?
The Moral Renewal of the Nation
The Struggle for Democracy is not over
A two thirds majority: The New Swart Gevaar
Opposition parties must learn to tolerate criticism
Toward Robben Island: The Rivonia Trial
The ANC`s second submission to the TRC: Behind South Africa`s Low-Intensity War
Talking To Vula
Some Personal Recollections of the Free Nelson Mandela Campaign
Introduction to Issue of Forbes Magazine Devoted to the New South Africa
The Future of South Africa by Nelson Mandela
Article by Nelson Mandela in Foreign Affairs, Vol. 72, No.5
Democracy – The only solution
Mahatma Gandhi and John Dube
Rivonia: telling it as it was
Free Nelson Mandela – an account of the Campaign to Free Nelson Mandela and all other Political Prisoners in South Africa
Olof Palme and the liberation of Southern Africa by Oliver Tambo
Oliver Tambo
Where Freedom Is Treason: Article on the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Treason Trial
Campaign of Defiance against Unjust Laws – recalled
Day of solidarity with political prisoners in South Africa
The Wankie Campaign
Article by Oliver Tambo – In the observer
Introduction to Selected Writings on the Freedom Charter – 1955-1985
The Freedom Charter – Equal Rights and Freedoms
Govan Mbeki – Isithwalandwe
The Freedom Charter a beacon to the people of South Africa
Congress of the People – I was there
Article by Oliver Tambo in World Marxist Review
The Great Battle: The Story of African Resistance in 1879
Mandela and our Revolution
The African Miners` Strike Of 1946
Drawing up the Demands of the Freedom Charter
The Defiance Campaign Recalled
Apartheid – A threat to Africa`s survival – Article by Oliver Tambo
Paper prepared at the request of the Special Committee against Apartheid
Article by Timothy Bennett-Smyth on Transcontinental Connections: Alfred B Xuma and the ANC on the World Stage
“Passive resistance in South Africa” by Olive Tambo
This item by Oliver Tambo was published as the introduction to the book “No Easy Walk to Freedom” by Ruth First
“What I would do if I were Prime Minister” by Albert Luthuli
“The Lutuli story” An Autobiographical article
“If I were Prime Minister”: Article by Albert Luthuli
“What I think of Macmillan`s speech”: Article by Albert Luthuli
Article by W.M. Sisulu – “Congress and the Africanists”
Does The Freedom Charter mean Socialism?
Article in Liberation by W.M. Sisulu – “Boycott as a Political Weapon”
South Africa`s struggle for Democracy by W.M. Sisulu
Freedom in our Lifetime
In the Transkei, where famine rules, people fear the future by W.M. Sisulu
Article in Liberation by W.M. Sisulu: The extension of the pass laws
Spectre of Belsen and Buchenwald: Life under apartheid by Nelson Mandela
Article in Fighting Talk by W.M. Sisulu: Forward with the Freedom Charter
Extract from the third report of the United Nations Commission on the Racial Situation in the Union of South Africa
Call to A. N. C. Ranks by Albert Luthuli
Towards Democratic Unity by Nelson Mandela
How Congress began
The Story of Defiance
We defy – 10,000 volunteers protest against unjust laws
`We defy` – 10,000 volunteers protest against `unjust laws`
Pass Law Resisters, Native Case Stated – Report on interview with I Bud Mbelle, JW Dunjwa, and PJ Motsoakae of the ANNC
Native Union
The Regeneration of Africa