By: Kgowa Tiragalo
On the evening of 25th July, the African National Congress Youth League in Limpopo gathered to honor the internationally acclaimed hero of the apartheid struggle Dr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
Visiting the University of Limpopo,Turfloop campus for the first time since he was appointed as the premier of the province, Mr. Mathabatha Stan received a warm welcoming from the students. The students sang struggle songs as he was making his way into the hall.
The premier dated back the formation of African National Congress Youth League and gave the reason for its formation."In 1944,Nelson Mandela and other young comrades formed the ANCYL because they thought the older comrades were taking time to deal with the challenges brought about by the apartheid regime"said Mathabatha. The premier praised Mandela for being brave in the fight against the apartheid government.Mathabatha said that"Besides of being young,Mandela volunteered to join African National Congress, the mother body in the campaign called Defiance of the oppressive laws in 1952 and during that campaign more than 150 people were arrested including Nelson Mandela".
Mathabatha went on to state some of the events were Nelson Mandela was involved. The head of Limpopo province said that "in 1973 comrades Thabo Mbeki, Moses Mabhida and others went to Vietnam to attend what was called The People's War and by then Nelson Mandela was in jail. They came back and encouraged mass mobilization and that was when the new political parties emerged".
The name Nelson Mandela appeared more often in most of the Mathabatha's speech. Mathabatha thanked Mandela for negotiating with the,then government to for the unbanning of ANC while he was still in jail and forcing the government to allow ANC members to be part of the negotiations.
The premier used the time and platform to criticize Julius Malema who parted ways with ANC and to clarify the misunderstood Freedom Charter."Some people decided to leave liberation movement to start something called EFF"said Mathabatha.Mathabatha continued to say"yes,the freedom charter says that the land shall be returned to the rightful owners but we cannot do that forcefully and recklessly" Limpopo premier thanked and urged the youth to carry on supporting the ANC.