June 16 is a lesson for all

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) president Mangosuthu Buthelezi says the struggle for a just, prosperous and moral society, in which every South African can claim a stake, will continue.

"The reality is that after 14 years of democracy people still can't boast that a better life for all has been achieved," he said at Princess Magogo Stadium on Youth Day. "We have gone backwards."

Buthelezi said the first democracy in 1994 seemed to have removed young people from the truth behind Youth Day.

But it was "vitally important that young South Africans understand why June 16 is marked on the calendar".

"The youth who are going to the polling stations for the first time next year grew up in a South Africa so different from the one I and my generation grew up in," Buthelezi said.

But in ama Zulu culture "we believe that knowledge should be passed down from one generation to another because the older generation are the custodians of the rich history of our nation".

Buthelezi said: "It is only when we teach the next generation that history can enrich, empower and enlighten. Our youth might have energy, enthusiasm and daring but our elders have the wisdom of experience.

"I believe it is important that the two come together and share their strengths.

"The June 16 rally offers us such a chance. No society can function normally as God meant it to without that sharing."