OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT GENERAL
TO: All media houses
FROM: COSAS National office
As the Congress Of South African Students we have taken a decision that we are not going to seat back while the future of young people in the country is taken away by ills of society that are man-made. We are going to take the law in to our hands and defend our future starting from cutting off private parts of those who rape our brothers and sisters , not to forget removing drug dealers in our communities because we know where they live. Our community members must stop living in fear and assist us to remove all the ills of society.
We call upon all stake holders in the education sector as well as the South African community at large to take part and contribute in the struggle to improve the education of our country ensuring that our students receive the best education, which promises a great future for the economy of our country.
As the Congress of South African Students we have taken an initiative to call mass meetings across the country. The meetings will be attended by parents, students, community members and all stakeholders in the education sector in all nine provinces of our country. Core to these discussions which will unfold in these meetings is the continuous disruptions of the culture of teaching and learning due to protests.
As an organization we understand and feel the struggle of our teachers but as a student organization our primary concern is our membership, the students, and what happens to their education during protests. We will then also cover amongst other issues the state of schools, social ills and also come up with strategies of how to curb them. The main purpose of these meetings is to get parents and communities at large involved in the life of schools and take part directly in the struggle to achieve quality education for students.
As an organization we are further concerned about nutrition issues in our schools. There is still a large number of schools which don't have a feeding scheme program, most of them being the high schools or secondary schools. The question we have always asked is that "if a child in a primary school has been depending on the feeding scheme, in high school their background is still the same, where will that child get assistance if the feeding scheme is no longer there?" .Whilst it becomes a huge achievement for all the schools when they get a feeding scheme program, there are still certain schools where learners end up eating food which is unhealthy, unacceptable and does not follow the menu set by the department of education to be followed.
Another matter which remains close to our hearts is the publishing of matric results in newspapers. As a students' organization we still maintain that matric results should be a private matter between the matriculant and the department of education. The continued violation of privacy of learners through this insensitive and inhuman doing which is motivated by profit making has cost families sons and daughters who commit suicide each year during the period of releasing of matric results.
Besides publishing of matric results being unnecessary as students can receive their results from their respective schools it is also inhuman. How many more young lives must be lost and how many more people should enter into depression until the department of basic education decides to put a stop to it? The worst thing about the publishing of these results is the misprints that sometimes happen, where a learner has passed but does not appear in the newspaper.
The number of matriculants who kill themselves each year after hearing they had failed might not be that large, but even one life lost counts, but we have also noted the extent to which such an inhuman practice erodes the confidence and the self-esteem of the students who did not do well. Why continue with an act which has proven time and time again that some of its effects are life costing. Continuation of releasing of these results just proves that in the eyes of the department of education and the media the value of life is very low.
Soon the Congress of South African Students will be leading marches and protests regarding amongst other issues the two above mentioned matters. Our department of education has made us realize that this is the language that they understand as we have raised these issues in many platforms but it has fallen on deaf ears. As a students' organization we are saying if one learner is suffering we are all suffering and we shall all lead their struggle as a collective.
As the Congress of South African Students we have taken some time to digest the recent utterances by King Dalindyebo of the Abathembu clan in the Eastern Cape. Even though we were tempted to respond immediately to the utterances of the honorable King and maybe with the same level of arrogance and appalling manner or worse, we decided to wait for a short period of time hoping that in the period he would go to the media again to either defend his name to say he was misquoted or apologize and re-tract his statement, recognizing the atrocious route he decided to take in raising his grievances.
As a students' organization today we are embarrassed to have to come out in public and voice out our disappoints towards King Dalindyebo. Our African ways of living have taught us that an elder must be respected at all times but equally our elders have always earned respect through conducting themselves in an exemplary manner which would inspire young people who are watching and would teach them how they are supposed to carry themselves.
The matter worsens on the case of Kings and people belonging to royal families which as part of their primary duties have to preach about mutual respect, dignity, unity and other African values which build our continent. King Dalindyebo's recent stunt was contrary to this and therefore leaves us with no choice but as a students organization to rise up in defense of the dignity of our President and South Africa as a country. Because of the King we have to perform a taboo act according to our African culture of calling into order an elder even though we are students.
With all due respect to King Dalindyebo we call on him to cease embarrassing not only himself but also the Abathembu clan which he belongs to. Perhaps the King needs to be reminded who he is and what position he holds in society because should he have understood that, he wouldn't have allowed the most distasteful words to come out of any sane human being let alone an honorable king to the President of the country which he is a citizen of in an incorrect platform.
We would have expected King Dalindyebo to call a formal meeting with the President in a proper platform to raise his dissatisfactions, which is what even ordinary men in our society do on a daily basis as that is the African way of dealing with matters. We are further concerned about the extensive intake of drugs by the king despite the collective effort by our people to eradicate the use and the trade of drugs which continues to eat the future of country, the extent to which he further undermines the South African law by publicly assuring our people of his intention to continue with his habit assists us to develop confidence on the judge that sentenced him to a prison time.
As the Congress of South African Students we are further concerned by the general perpetuating recent trend of insulting of our President. Every Citizen of South Africa needs to realize that President Jacob Zuma is the face of our country, if he is insulted the country itself is being insulted. The moment President Jacob Zuma was voted into being state president he ceased to be just a family man of the Zuma family or just president of the African National Congress but he became the first representative of the South African country.
In other countries there are serious consequences to those who insult their president or government officials. Looking just closer to home in countries like Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Zambia and other countries situated in the African Continent there are laws in place which protect the state president and government officials from insults. South Africa needs to look
into creating such a law, because it doesn't sensor people nor limits freedom of speech but ensures that the dignity of the leadership of the country is maintained. We must note that tomorrow it might not be Zuma who is president, but any other president who would be leading must be protected from undignified comments.
On the mushrooming political parties
The Congress Of South African Students will always defend the democracy that we historically fought for, these mushrooming political parties are the direct beneficiaries of such a system. We are however concerned about the way in which any Tom Dick and Harry fantasizes about uplifting the social conditions of our people outside the progressive policy frame work of the ANC.
People like Julius "humpty dumpty" Malema who hijacked a concept that was informed by a collective thinking of the young people of the ANC, we remain convinced that only the policies of the ANC are relevant in taking forward the plight of our country, there is no EFF, Agang or even the racist DA that can take our people anywhere as they do not provide any form of sound ideological stands to advance the goal of a developing nation besieged by the historical imbalances but also recognizing the rights of citizens as equal.
The so called economic freedom fighters is a party of thugs who have stolen money from the poor and stored it in their ceilings. Now that they are exposed, they cannot spend the money directly. Those criminals must be arrested if they fail to explain who is funding their gangster crew and not to forget the sushi king who has openly said he is abusing young girls, using them for porn movies and drug dealings.
Statement issued by COSAS President General Thlologelo Malaji and COSAS Secretary General: Tshiamo Tsotetsi, July 23 2013
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