By MPHO DUBE
AFTER Mabuse Mpe was elected the national chairperson of the Young Communist League of South Africa during the 5th national congress Limpopo went abuzz as one of their own emerged victor however he didn’t mince his words that free education is long overdue.
Despite the arrests of student activists Mcebo Dlamini and Kanya Cekeshe are facing serious charges of public violence, theft and malicious damage to property during Fees Must Fall protests which begin in 2015, Mpe said the YCL trust that the ANC government is going about it the right way introducing free education in phases.
“The idea is that you should have all children and youth of school going age in some kind of education or training set up. Equally we are careful not to fall into a trap of populism on a matter that is of paramount importance to the African majority,” he said.
During President Jacob Zuma’s term, the YCL was quite as if it was on autopilot however Mpe said the movement in general has went through a difficult period and that resulted in a decline in the alliance’s electoral fortunes as witnessed in 2016.
Mpe said however: “We are going through a period of renewal and all of us are doing our part to ensure the ANC secures an overwhelming victory in the general elections. We are also contributing internally to the debate on the reconfiguration of the alliance and of course we will reclaim our space in the struggles of young people in this country. Like our predecessors we will continue to speak out against corruption and factionalism where those demons dare show up.”
The YCL leader urged his comrades to not to be hogwash following the developments of the Zondo Commission.
“We are following the proceedings with keen interest and we hope that, and the two other commissions provide answers for the country. We are careful not to comment on the merits of matters being raised there though so as to not interfere with legal proceedings because these issues are legal and if we get too involved as politicians we run the risk of creating a side show that may undermine the objective of having a commission of inquiry,” Mpe added.
With South Africa experiencing high level of unemployment which continues to haunt the youth but Mpe said: “As the YCL and the PYA in general we must provide leadership in this regard. There are debates around issues of land reform, transformation in general, the reliability of our education system and of course the 4th industrial revolutions. All these issues require us to engage the youth and society to come up with the best ideas to take the country forward.”
Mpe believes that the ANC will win back public confidence ahead of the local elections and subsequently. “Despite obvious challenges, the ANC and indeed the entire movement has its heart in the right place and our people know that. We should continue to be honest with people and avoid the temptation to entertain examined temporary solutions that we see our detractors from all corners peddling in a bid to confuse the people. We have to account for what we have done and show the people where we are headed. Our people can see what we are doing and acknowledge the challenges that lie ahead,” he said.
Mpe is a living testimony his humble character was noticed by even delegates from all nine provinces who wanted to be led by young man known for his humility and calmness.
“Well, we were elected by congress which comprised of delegates from all over the country and similarly we have a national mandate to achieve between now and the next conference. Nevertheless, we are humbled by the support we receive here at home, much appreciated my brother. We look up to Buti Manamela. You would remember that he was the first national secretary when the YCL was relaunched,” Mpe said: “Naturally it should not be emotional as this is a mandate, marching orders you get from branches. We were, and we remain overwhelmed by the confidence branches of the YCL showed in us and we wish to serve them with loyalty and put the league back where it used to be in terms of debates in the country and in the alliance. The PYA too is an area we must play our role in fixing because we admit it can be stronger than this.”