Various political parties have commemorated June 16, Youth Day, across the country. Among those who had gatherings are the National Freedom Party Young Movement, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa called on the youth to unite as they fight their struggles, just as the youth of 1976 did. He was speaking at his party’s Eastern Cape manifesto launch in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro in Port Elizabeth.
Holomisa also urged young people to use their vote to bring about the change they want to see.
“Remember today is an important day in our calendar. When we commemorate the youth of yesterday, who fought for change, we all agree that a lot has been done since the dark days. But we are also here to continue to do our work. We must assess how far we have come with our democracy project and decide where we want to go with it.”
The National Freedom Party Young Movement celebrated Youth Day with the community of Kwazinqamu, at Elandskop in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
Spokesperson Sibusiso Mncwabe has called on young people who will be contesting positions in the upcoming local government elections to develop their communities efficiently.
“We need now to come to the new struggle, the one of developing our community, taking care of our community. We want young people who will take over as councillors to deliver the total liberation to our people, that one of building them schools, tar roads, clinics, community hospice, taking care of the elderly and those who are living with disabilities; that is a gospel that we are going to preach today and say as we commemorate our fallen heroes on this day let us take care of our community as young leaders.”
IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has lambasted leaders who make empty promises to young people. Buthelezi was addressing a gathering of IFP youth in Soweto.
He laid a wreath at the Hector Pieterson Memorial Site saying today is about remembering all those who lost their lives in the struggle for freedom.
Buthelezi thanked the youth of 76 for their bravery. Buthelezi says today’s young people face a different struggle of access to quality education. He also condemned the burning of schools.
“I would like to say sadly that some leaders of our liberation movement were saying liberation now education later. I juxtapose this with education for liberation. And that time they encouraged young people to burn down schools, not to go to schools. I am afraid that we are reaping what some people sowed in this country.”
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