THIS is an edited version of student activist Onkgopotse Tiro's speech at the University of the North on April 29 1972.

THIS is an edited version of student activist Onkgopotse Tiro's speech at the University of the North on April 29 1972.

"Allow me to start by borrowing from our prime minister John Vorster who told the Afrikaanse Studentebond congress last June: "No black man has ever landed in trouble for fighting for what is legally his."

I don't know if that statement is true, but I shall make it my launch pad.

American lay preacher RD Briensmead says: "He who withholds the truth or debars men from motives of its expediency, is either a coward, a criminal or both."

I will try, as far as possible, to say nothing but the truth.

Cedric Phatudi, a Lebowa territorial authority officer, said that in as much as there is American Education, there has to be Bantu Education.

I differ with him completely. In America there is only one education system, but here in South Africa we have Bantu Education, Indian Education, Coloured Education and European Education.

All the committees at this university are predominantly, if not completely, white. Here and there you will find one or two Africans who, in the opinion of the students are white black men.

The advisory council is said to represent our parents. How can it do that when they have not elected it?

A white contractor supplies the meat and white students are given vacation jobs while black students need the jobs more. Besides, white students have 11 other universities where they can get vacation jobs.

Right now our parents have come all the way from their homes only to be locked outside. We are told that the hall is full. I do not accept that. Front seats are given to people who will not even cheer us. My father is seated there at the back.

My dear people, shall we ever get a fair deal in this land? The land of our fathers. The system is failing us. It is failing because even those who support it fail to adhere to it completely.

The challenge to every black graduate in this country is to actively dissociate themselves from, and work for the eradication of the system breeding such evil.

To those who support the policy of apartheid I say: Do you think that the white minority will willingly commit political suicide by creating numerous states which might turn out to be hostile in the future? We black graduates are being called upon to bear greater responsibilities in the liberation of our people.

Our so-called leaders have become the bolts of the same machine which is crushing us as a nation. We must educate them.

Times are changing and we should change with them. The story of human achievement gives irrefutable proof that as soon as nationalism is awakened among the intelligentsia, it becomes the vanguard in the struggle against alien rule.

Of what use will your education be if it is not linked to the entire continent of Africa.

Helen Suzman said : "There is one thing which the prime minister cannot do: He cannot ban ideas from men's minds."

In conclusion, may the Lord be praised, for the day shall certainly come when all our people will be free to breathe the air of freedom.

When that day comes no man, no matter how many tanks he has, will reverse the course of events.

God Bless you.