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CityPress - - Voices - Bongani Dun­ywa Ntuzuma, KwaZulu-Natal

his year, South Africa will mark 39 years since the heroic youth of Soweto marched against tu­ition in the Afrikaans lan­guage and the apartheid regime’s Bantu ed­u­ca­tion. That sin­gle his­tor­i­cal event in­ten­si­fied the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle, with thou­sands of stu­dents flee­ing South Africa to join the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle out­side the coun­try’s bor­ders.

The stu­dents could not di­vorce their protests against in­fe­rior ed­u­ca­tion from the broader na­tional lib­er­a­tion strug­gle.

It is his­tor­i­cally true that the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle ac­quired greater im­pe­tus when this gen­er­a­tion joined the strug­gle in their thou­sands.

Th­ese stu­dents had one thing in mind: fight the Pre­to­ria gov­ern­ment and lib­er­ate the op­pressed peo­ple.

It is ob­vi­ous many of those stu­dents are serv­ing the cur­rent gov­ern­ment in var­i­ous ca­pac­i­ties to­day. I just won­der if the ma­jor­ity of them still feel the same way they did when they joined the lib­er­a­tion move­ment 39 years ago.

Yes, the po­lit­i­cal chal­lenges of to­day are not the same as those of 1976.

Has the ANC al­tered its prin­ci­ples, val­ues, phi­los­o­phy and po­lit­i­cal pro­grammes? Some would ar­gue that the ANC as a lib­er­a­tion move­ment can­not be the same as the ANC in gov­ern­ment.

But should its found­ing phi­los­o­phy, val­ues, cul­ture and po­lit­i­cal pro­grammes not re­flect the ANC of Al­bert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo and Nel­son Man­dela? Can you hon­estly say the ANC has not de­vi­ated from its orig­i­nal guiding doc­u­ment, the Free­dom Char­ter?

Is the ANC of to­day serv­ing the in­ter­ests of the coun­try and its peo­ple, or the in­ter­ests of a se­lected few?

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