Youth should not destroy infrastructure‚ Madonsela urges

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has urged the youth to address injustice but not to destroy public infrastructure

“We hear you. We know you have right to be angry about social injustice. However this is our country. It is not someone else’s country.

“Let us not destroy our own infrastructure. You only destroy the infrastructure of the enemy. We are supposed to be a building generation.”

Madonsela made this call on Tuesday evening at the launch of the Civics Academy‚ a new online education initiative that aims to strengthen democratic values and inspire active citizenship among the youth.

The Civics Academy covers educational content related to democracy‚ governance‚ elections‚ political parties‚ the justice system‚ the Constitution‚ economics‚ human rights and the environment.

The online resource is a partnership between the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

The launch coincides with the anniversary of the inauguration of the late President Nelson Mandela‚ the country’s first democratically elected president‚ 22 years ago.

Madonsela’s call comes as a number of schools were destroyed in Vhuwani in Limpopo in the past week as residents expressed discontent regarding municipal demarcation in that area.

“The generation of 1976 were the stone-throwers. The generation of today is meant to be the builders‚” Madonsela said.

She said if young people knew their rights and the Constitution‚ they would better know how to change the world.

“The initiative comes 20 years too late. However it comes at the right time.”

She said she hoped the initiative would achieve its objectives of having leaders the country wanted.

“They would be leading not with a gut feeling but with the understanding of this (constitutional) roadmap.”

“They will know who to ask questions when things are not going their way. If a road had not been built‚ they would have confidence to talk to the right people.

“If that does not succeed‚ they could petition and go to Chapter nine institutions.”

She also expressed appreciation for youth movements such as #Feesmustfall as they adopted different forms of protest which included sit-ins and debates.

This meant youth could protest without being violence.