Thank you very much Giet Khoza CEO of Rhema and to Pastor Linda Mtimkulu for inviting us to come and talk to you and I think more to talk to young people.
Our cause is for young people, our course is for the future, our course is to build into the future of this country. Some of the things we have seen in the last few days here in Soweto, we’ve seen young people being the instigators. Young people being the perpetrators that is why we think it is important that we speak to young people.
Some may ask but why do we go to church, why do we go to the converted and we think that it is important that we strengthen those who have good things to say. Because the more we repeat the negative things that are happening without speaking to the strong ones, without speaking to those who have good things to say, without speaking those who go out there in our communities to speak with the youth then we would feel that we are losing the fight against all these things that have been happening. So that’s why we think here it is the important platform for us to speak to you, that’s why we are in church.
For us to be stronger and stronger and stronger and go out there and spread the good, positive word say that enough is enough and I think that is our responsibility. I hope that over the following weeks and months I will be seeing many of you going out there saying not in our name. We are not the young people who have been doing all these things and that they are not going to allow all of these things to continue.
When the Kenyan people got their independence, the father of the current President, Jomo Kenyatta, who was President at the time, started a slogan that went on and on into the current generation of the Kenyan people. That slogan is Uhuru na Kazi, meaning “Freedom and Work”. When Nelson Mandela was accepting in 1994 the first ever democratic election results those of you who voted know the feeling of what it meant to be free at that time. What he also said was that yes let’s accept the freedom but the work starts now! We must go and work for our bread, we must go and work for our water and we must also go and work for our salt.
I’m saying these words and reminding us of these words because there seems to be a strong sense of entitlement we seem to be entitled, we seem to be thinking that things must happen without us taking action. We seem to be shifting the blame to others when we should be taking the responsibility for our actions.
We are like that mane who went to church every Sunday praying to God to help him win the lottery. I think Pastor Ray McCauley spoke about it that vision must be accompanied by process. Every week he would pray to God to help him win the lottery. Then a word came to him and said at least take me halfway go and buy a lotto ticket. We cannot blame others for some of the things that are happening to us. Some of the things that we have seen over the week, it is us not taking responsibility for our own actions; it is us believing that we are entitled n things.
We are leading now what we call a National Youth Policy process where we are getting all young people to participate. When I launched the consultative process two weeks ago I said that we are going to go everywhere where there are young people, including churches, schools and everywhere else so we talk to every young person in each and every corner of South Africa. Because of what happened here in Soweto last week we thought that it is actually timely for us to speak firstly to young people here.
We hope that everybody will participate and get involved will air their views and will tell us whether this is where we should be going as the youth of this country and what we want to see our government doing for the next five years for young people.
The policy is about what needs to happen what government commits for and with young people. I think what is very important that is in the National Youth Policy 2020 is that we believe that millions of young people want is a hand up, not a hand out, not some grant, they don’t want to be queueing up for freebies. All we want as young people a hand up!
We want a government that will facilitate so that we are able to meet our needs, interests and aspirations. We want to be involved, we want to take action and we want to be part of changing our lives and that is what we want to see happening in the next few days with young people talking about this policy.
One of the interesting things which I heard while meeting youth leaders – a gentleman from Afriforum said to me “It is time we take parents back to their rightful place of parenting” I think that is one of the things that has gone wrong. When parents do not take their children to school – as we have seen on National TV – but they go and loot with them. That is the saddest thing that we can ever have in a democratic South Africa. This freedom, this democracy was not for parents to take their children to loot, no matter who owns those shops.
Although I am still youth, I think that in certain instances we should rely on the old school to sort out. We should rely on the old hands to sort out; we should give the responsibility to each and every parent. To be a parent does not mean that you must be the biological mother or father of that child. As long as you are a senior if you see a child who is supposed to be in school during school hours you take that child to school. You actually give them a hiding before you take them to school because that’s where they belong.
Not some of the things we have seen over the last few weeks, where parents seem to be the ones who instigate and allow some of the things that are happening.
We cannot have a situation where parents seem to be defeated by their own children. We are your children, you gave birth to us, and we cannot in any way defeat you. That is one of the ways in which we can stop some of the things that are happening.
Everybody says it is xenophobic attacks or whatever it is you call it, I do not think it is that. It is what it is! It is young people who have decided to commit crime in their own communities.
Today I was reminded of an old saying. This chap who was living in Germany said “When they came for the socialists, I kept quiet because I was not a Socialist. When they came for the trade unionist, I kept quiet because I was not a trade unionist. When they came for the Jews, I kept quiet because I was not a Jew. Today they have come for me there is no one who is going to speak for me because everybody has been killed.”
I was reminded of this because there is this so called attack on people from Pakistan, Somalia and so forth. I am the first one to admit that sometimes the immigration laws of our country are undermined by the public servants who request for bribes here and there and allow people who are not supposed to be in the country through. Sometimes people come into the country seeking refuge, political asylum and then after a week or so setting up business. Those we need to confront and deal with.
Sometimes people come here seeking political protection from wherever they have come from and should be given that political protection, it is important but if any of those commit any crime, they should be confronted and reported to the police.
But once we turn on other Africans because they are not from within our border, when we have chased them away – and hopefully we will not succeed. When we have chased them away the next thing is you will be looking at your neighbor and saying your neighbor is Venda and therefore they must go back to Venda. You will be saying your neighbor is Xhosa and they must go back to Pondoland. You will be saying your neighbor is a Mosotho and they must go back to Lesotho.
We must stand up against those who see other humans as sub-humans because tomorrow those who commit these crimes will be coming for you and you and for me and there will be no one to speak for us.
We will be going out with youth organisation throughout the whole country. This is the first of many. Yes there are challenges of unemployment, there are challenges of poverty of alcohol and drug abuse of which you and me must go all out and make sure that we deal with. Make sure that we reverse.
I could not understand when we say that what happened over the last few weeks is because there is unemployment poverty and inequality when a child who is thirteen or fourteen years is doing all of these things and that child is supposed to be in school. If parents cannot afford to pay school fees that child must be in school and there is no school governing body that will say that child must not go to school. So there is no justification for what happened in the last few days.
We must be the ones that take action, we must be ones who unite our community, and we must be the ones who say not in our name. It is there all over the news; they are saying the youth of Soweto are the ones who are instigating and the ones who are at the forefront of what is happening. But I see many young people who are in here who are saying not in our name! That voice must come out stronger and stronger.
The thirteen month old baby who died yesterday, we must say not in our name! The old man who died last week, we must say not in our name! People who commit crimes saying they are protecting their territory we must say they are not doing it in our name! We want a united community and united South Africa. We will expose those who are committing these heinous crimes because they are not doing it for us they are doing it for themselves.
Some of them after having looted go and sell the things they have looted. Not even for their personal development. But they go and buy nyaope, alcohol and drugs. They become high so that they go and commit more crimes. Not in our name!
Thank you very much more specifically to the youth of this congregation. I want to hear you say not in your name but more importantly to make a contribution in making sure that government meets the needs interest and aspirations of young people in particular but more so we that we must say that we are prepared to take action and to get involved.
Thanks for giving me your time.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS