THE manner in which ANC Youth League leaders have carried themselves this year represents one of the saddest chapters in the illustrious history of the structures ofAfrica's largest political organisation, the ANC.
The despicably arrogant conduct that the ANCYL's leaders have demonstrated since their election in June 2008 has been tantamount to an insult to the values and aspirations of the country's youth whose interests they purport to represent.
The league's insistence that South African youth, the majority of whom live in utter poverty and squalor, should be radical and revolutionary while the league leaders live liberal and luxurious lives in up-market suburbia, drive expensive cars and wear designer clothesis flawed and smacks of hypocrisy.
They often appear on TV channels purporting to be defending the interests of the youth, when, in fact, it was their own self-interests that mattered most.
Ironically, accusing the South African Communist Party of self-enrichment was the last straw that laid bare not only the league leaders' complete ignorance of the alliance's fundamental imperatives but clearly demonstrated their total disregard and pejorative contempt for what the ANC has held dear to its heart for decades.
The clever sophistries that always accompanied the youth league's public speeches will not rid our country of the socio-economic scourges that continue to afflict our youth right under the league's nose.
Neither will the banning of alcohol advertising. Only proper and exemplary youth leadership with moral fibre will.
Unless the current youth league's leadership radically changes its conduct and set new youth-oriented priorities in the new year, the country's young people should stand up and stop cheering whenever the league leaders dupe them with their colourful and charismatic but empty rhetoric.
Mlu Mzila and Nkosinathi 'Ace' Ngcobo