Dear Young People,
When you elected me I knew that this journey would not always be easy or simple. I knew that much would be demanded from all of us. I knew that there would be times where people would applaud our positions and times where they would not. I knew that I would have to champion the issues of young people no matter how hard or lonely it would become. I have always believed that the true test of leadership is when you are not liked or celebrated by everyone. This is when you see your own strength and those around you. What matters at all times is that you remain firm in your principles and values because those cannot be shaken.
As the DA Youth Leader and the DA Youth at large we have on countless occasions stood up against racist vitriol. We did this when the EFF spewed racism against Indian people on the 19th of June 2018 where we reported them to the Human Rights Commission. We did the same on the 22nd of August 2018 when we condemned Adam Catzavelos for his racist comments against black people. As well as BLF’s racist comments against white people. On the 5th November 2018 we did it again when I took a stand to condemn the YES programme for excluding white unemployed youth. As an organisation we will continue to stand for non-racialism and that all citizens belong in South Africa. This is why I’m proud of the DA Youth and all it has done this far.
In this week there have been LIES peddled against me by Solidarity. Namely:
1. That I released the teachers name
2. That I got the teacher suspended
3. and that I started the national outrage on the issue
I want to categorically state these claims are untrue and are being peddled by political opponents and people who have started to find the continued strengthening of the DA Youth as a threat. Here are the real facts behind this matter:
I reacted to a picture 4 hours after it went viral. I was hugely concerned by media reports of alleged racism at this particular school. Shortly thereafter I released a statement mandated by the party stating I would visit the school to seek answers which I did the following day and stated that the matter must be investigated and members of the community must remain calm.
To this end, both on social media and in my press statement I have made no mention of the teacher. I challenge Solidarity to come forward with the evidence in which I have made mention of the teacher and called her racist.
On the second matter, it is widely known that the MEC suspended the teacher. The idea that I influenced this remains untrue. Members of the community, stakeholders and myself all heard about the suspension the same day during the press conference of the MEC. Again, I challenge Solidarity to produce evidence of how I influenced the suspension of the teacher.
As a leader I am prepared to stand at the centre of this storm and as many throw insults my way I know that as young people in South Africa we do not want to inherit a country that is divided it is up to us to rise above the hate of the past and create a new future. That is a responsibility that I take seriously and thus will continue to fight for.
Early Saturday I received my first death threat. This tells me that the racist vitriol, threats, and false accusations show we have a long way to go. This is why I will seek legal remedial action for defamation caused to me by a number of people. Those who have peddled lies against me will ultimately face the full might of the law. The truth will absolve me even if I’m alone.
To all our young kids at the school I apologies to you all for such a traumatic couple of days. Please know that we believe in all of you and you are indeed our future.
DA Youth Leader
Issued through Facebook, 17 January 2019