Zuma urges elders to guide SA youth
Elders must teach the youth South African values, President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday.
“They must teach them what it means to be South Africans, what it means to love and work for this country selflessly,” Zuma told a congregation at the funeral service of African National Congress stalwart Curtis Nkondo in Johannesburg.
“We are worried that these distinguished patriots, who are reservoirs of knowledge, leave us with no written legacy and no lessons for our youth. This is a lesson for us that we must use our elders and stalwarts effectively to guide our youth.”
Zuma added that the youth must also be taught non-racialism.
“They must teach them about the fundamental guiding principle of non-racialism, and why we say this country belongs to all who live in it.”
“Things that today we take for granted.”
Due to the legacy of apartheid, Zuma said South Africans tended to be insular and did not understand foreign nationals.
“Due to isolation because of apartheid, our country remains insulated and is somewhat non-receptive to cosmopolitanism,” he said.
“We need to attend to this factor if we are to make our people understand the role of foreign nationals who are in our country legally, contributing to the life and economy of our country.
“We must educate our people that xenophobic attitudes are not acceptable,” said Zuma.
Nkondo died this week at the age of 81. He had been an educator, a leader of the Free Mandela Campaign, a trade unionist and an activist in the United Democratic Front. His funeral was attended by Zuma, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Gauteng minister for education Barbara Creecy and the province’s Premier, Nomvula Mokonyane.
“Here is a soldier that never allowed power and social status to create arrogance,” said Mokonyane. “He never used his position for personal pursuits.”
Mokonyane said that as a school principal in Soweto during the 1976 student uprising, Nkondo played an important role in leading other educators to support the youth.
“He taught that freedom is non-negotiable,” said Zuma.
“In this era of freedom, we call upon our teachers to commit to non-negotiables such as being in class on time, teaching not to abuse learners and not to neglect children.”—Sapa