Statement On The Occasion Of The 20th Anniversary Of SAYCO

21 August 2007

Twenty years ago, a bombshell, a boomerang and a catalyst of our Revolution called South African Youth Congress (SAYCO) was established on the 28th March 1987 at the University of Western Cape here in Cape Town.

Under the nose of Apartheid racist security establishments, SAYCO was formed with a slogan `Freedom or Death! Victory is Certain!`

Guided by its adoption of the Freedom Charter as its policy guide to Freedom and Democracy, SAYCO declared `better die to a man than let the enemy pass`.

It was at a COSAS May 1982 Congress when it all started, guided by one of the resolutions that sought to accommodate the out of school militant and revolutionary Youth into a Congress home called Youth Congress. Under a stewardship of President Shepherd Mati, a National Youth Organisation was established and ably led by Comrade Deacon Mathe, a process that ultimately led to formation of SAYCO with Peter Mokaba and Mzimasi Mangcotywa as its first President and Deptuty President whilst Rapu Molekane was the engine of that Bombshell.

This was a combination of mass disciplined and militant students, and armed Youth of MK, all dedicated and selflessly focused to the overthrow of Apartheid government, that all brought about the Youth of our Country into action under the leadership and guidance of this boomerang called SAYCO.

These followed the legacy of the Youth of yester years, disciplined, dedicated and death defying, proclaiming in its Youth League Manifesto "Youth is laying its services at the disposal of the National Liberation Movement, i.e. ANC, in the firm belief, knowledge and conviction that the cause of Africa must and will triumph".

As we celebrate 20 years of SAYCO, we shall remember those of us who are no more, but who were in forefront of its establishment, i.e. Tlhabane Mogashoa, Nhunhu Kheswa, Ivan Parage, Peter Mokaba, Ephraim Mogale, Eddy Mabitse, Fawcett Mathebe, Bachana Mokoena, among others.

We want to assure your Families, Comrades, friends and enemies alike that theirs was not in vain.

The Youth of today have you as role models! Emulate theses martyrs and join the progressive forces that seek to conclude the mission you and those before you, of bringing about a Non-racial, Non-sexist and Democratic Society.

Freedom or Death! Victory is Certain!

Lulu Johnson, MP

For more information:
021 403 3107