Thursday, April 24, 2014

Statement on the 50th Anniversary of the Rivonia Trial Speech by President Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela with Ethiopian Gen. Tadesse Birru during 1962 when he visited
the country to undergo military training.
20 April 2014

The ANC Youth League commemorates 50 years of the Rivonia Trial Speech by Mandela with pride and humility that is necessitated by the ultimate sacrifice President Nelson Mandela was prepared to make. To us as young people of the ANC, the Rivonia Trial Speech by Madiba is so powerful and does reflect the high-value our freedom and democracy cost our fore-fathers.

We are happy that today as we commemorate with joy the triumph of our struggle heroes and heroines endurance over the apartheid crimes, we do so as free citizens of a democratic South Africa that has seen consistent prosperity over 20 years. When Madiba was in the courtroom in Pretoria, 50 years ago, on 20 April 1964 - facing a possible death sentence along with seven co-defendants, he - amongst other things - said, "I have fought against white domination. I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

For Comrade President Mandela to have used a singular form when addressing the court`s judge indicates to us the value of self-sacrifice that we should be prepared to make in the course of struggle. As the ANC Youth League, we still believe in selflessness and we call on all young people to as individually responsible citizens reflect back and remember Madiba in that courtroom and the injustice that was administered to his fellow majority of South Africans. We call on young people to defend the democratic breakthrough of 1994 and safeguard the rule of South Africa by its majority citizens by voting ANC on May, 07 2014.

The calls for citizens to spoil their votes are blasphemous to the course Madiba and other true struggle stalwarts stood for. Let no one sane person listen to the voices of the disgruntled few.

Nelson Mandela belonged to one political party all his life, which is the ANC. All that he wished and advocated remain the guiding prescripts of the ANC. It is because of these reasons that as the ANC Youth League we are sure that the transition to a more radical economic transformation phase will ultimately bring economic freedom for the majority only under the leadership of a responsible and caring ANC government. Remember Mandela - Vote ANC.

Issued by African National Congress Youth League

For Interviews:
Dr Bandile Masuku (ANCYL National Spokesperson) - 071 574 4513

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