Advocate Hishaam Mohamed, chairperson, Southern Suburbs Legal Advice Centre (SSLAC)
This week we join millions of South Africans to commemorate the 44th anniversary of the June 16 Soweto uprisings.
On this Youth Day we salute the gallant heroes and heroines of 1976 and 1985 for their selfless contribution to fight for our freedom through an uncompromising struggle against the Apartheid regime under our revolutionary slogan of: “Freedom or death, victory is certain”
We remember the 1976 tragic bloodbath of innocent students and youths who marched peacefully against the usage of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at schools.
We remember the uprising against white oppression and our struggle of 1985 against the Botha tricameral elections.
We remember our struggle on the streets of Cafda, Retreat Lotus River, Parkwood, Grassy Park, Wynberg, Vrygrond, and surrounding areas in the southern suburbs.
In the Western Cape young people still face serious challenges like unemployment, inequality, and the scourge of gangs and drugs which is destroying their lives and livelihoods.
Many of our youth leaders of the 1976 and 1985 generation managed to resist the influence of drugs and gangsterism in their lifetime.
I call on our youth of today to emulate the youth leaders of 1976 and 1985 by not falling prey to gangsterism and drugs.
As we welcome the government’s initiatives to create a conducive environment for the youth to prosper during this Covid-19 pandemic, the youth are encouraged to access the many platforms created to access education institutions, financial assistance, skills development causes and economic opportunities.
On this day I also call on our youth to take an active stand against gender-based violence; and to adhere to the Covid-19 regulations by regularly washing your hands, wearing a mask to protect others, using sanitiser, maintaining social distance, and staying at home where possible.