62nd Anniversary of ANC Youth League marked

7 September 2006

Madam Speaker, this year on 16 June the country celebrated and commemorated the heroic struggle of the youth of 1976, which took the bull by its horns in the struggle for liberation.

In the same spirit our country and nation will be celebrating 62 years of the birth and existence of the African National Congress Youth League. Indeed, 62 years ago young men and women of the soil, that is South Africa, gathered in the Bantu Men`s hall in Johannesburg to establish a giant organisation of the African youth under the banner of the ANC.

This youth organisation became the first biggest and strongest African youth movement in South Africa and Africa. It became a political home to many African leaders who subsequently took the reigns of power in their own countries.

These young cadres radically changed the ANC and even changed the character of the liberation struggle in South Africa and Africa. They did so by influencing the content of the liberation struggle from a passive resistance approach into a radical and defiant mass mobilisation approach.

Through 60 years of uninterrupted struggle the league has successfully groomed the leadership of the ANC in the calibre of O R Tambo, Dorothy Nyembe, Nelson Mandela, Bertha Gxowa, Walter Sisulu and many more.

Through decades of the struggle the ANC Youth League has continuously brought light in the life of the ANC and the broader liberation movement. It has done so, so that through generations of independent-thinking young lions and through unwavering display of youth vibrancy and temperament, and the rejuvenation of the ANC, today the onus is on the present generation of youth and its leadership to follow the afore-mentioned examples of the rich history of youth struggle and activism and to take cue from these gallant fighters. Long live the ANC Youth League, long live!

ANC Member of Parliament

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