Home Opinion [OPINION] A contribution to the discussion advanced by products of the progressive youth movement. Cde Kgotso Morapela and Cde Sizwe Zingitwa. – The interlink arguments of Motjha-palong and Generational Mix

[OPINION] A contribution to the discussion advanced by products of the progressive youth movement. Cde Kgotso Morapela and Cde Sizwe Zingitwa. – The interlink arguments of Motjha-palong and Generational Mix

by centra

Unedited Views by Xolani Tseletsele 

Revolutions produces ideas out of no personal liking, but out of historical moments, at no time does it halt, flicker, observe left, right or centre, without the dialectic of space and time. At least that is what robots offfer!


Revolutions are festivals of a collective people, organised in the advancement  of debates.

In the space of the rise of Motjha-palong, one does not , and will not omit to give an introductory process of its interlink with “generational mix”, as advanced by Cde Morapela and Cde Zingitwa.  In times of debate, we have a collective responsibility to offer clarifications on characterisation of ideological concepts, or invented ideas of revolution.  

To commit some truth, the idea of Motjha-palong emanates precisely and accurately from the acceptance of non guidance of the revolution,a stage of an interregnum  which serves as a vacuum in leadership. 

The discussion document invites all of us to conversate , and it doesn’t pursue an anti-old leadership, and a pure youth-only leadership.  

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To interpret it as such, would be a grave mistake, and myopic in a sense of being undialectic to the process of change and sustainability of ideas throughout the struggle. 

The concept has a two-dimensional understanding, firstly, it is interpreted in the direct translation of “youth to the poles”, meaning, to contest as councillors. The second dimension, is “youth amongst numbers”, an involvement in the local struggles of our people. This does not negate generational mix, but rather re-purpose it for a practical meaning, which is not negotiated on tables, but organically processed by a leadership responsible to lead and guide the National Democratic Revolution. 

The idea is “loosely” advanced, interpreted in different meanings, has no consistent clarification amongst young people. That is precisely what reminds us of, it is an idea amongst young people who have been denied organisational space to campaign the idea within structures of the congress movement, in particular the absence of conferences of young people. 

It is not alien, nor counter-revolutionary to invent ideas, but it is absolutely necessary to do so, beyond the status quo, real ideas must  live long and serve as solutions at all material times. Again, real ideas survives through criticism, destructive or constructive, we must be able to point out ‘why this idea’, and continue to develop the idea further. 

Cde Morapela , is a former ANCYL Provincial Chairperson and Cde Zingitwa of SASCO, the two comrades are well knowledgeable in history. All history hitherto, always and all the time questions the importance of leadership. Revolutionary organizations always observe such as a critical pillar in their modus operandi . 

The Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, at a time when his health was deteriorating, he wrote the “Lenin’s Testament ‘, chief amongst its contents, was who wil be able to lead and guide the revolution logically and with sound leadership.  The thesis he provided critically characterized leaders and members of the Party, their discipline and experience in the revolution, their knowledge of “organisational responsibility and mastering of conduct”.

Much later, the ANC itself came up with a similar document, known as ‘through the eye of the needle'( 2001),  a very interesting document, which observes the importance of charaterising leadership that meets certain traits to lead the ANC. 

In late October 1917, Lenin also wrote, ‘An Impending catastrophe- and how to combat it’, which analyses a complete background of systematic challenges inherited by the leadership of the Party. Now, proponents  or advocates of Motjha-palong should not define themselves narrowly out of co-existence with other ideas in the political space. 

What is important is to understand the role of young people in their own communities. The first phase  of the  National Democratic Revolution post ’94, was the establishment of people’s power organs, these organs have withered away, or rather turned into senile groupings opposed to reasons of their existence. 

Young people have a responsibility to provide superior logic, and  give content to our struggle. The concept of Motjha-palong is beyond, or should be beyond the now, and should shape the discussions of leadership. These debates through articles are important, and reminds us of the the early years towards our democracy.  

The debates between Slovo and Pallo, Gwala and Cronin, those debates were fundamental towards organisational platforms, and were able to serve as an influence to decision-making. 

The attitude in the ranks of ageist, to insult the idea of Motjha-palong, is located in the ahistorical nature of dogmatism. Young people in the congress movement have  responsibility to follow what one Marxist-feminist ,Silvia Federici teaches on “construction  of the commons”, which coincides with an inter-generational struggle of our generation, young and old. 

We must construct the commons in our localities, in the townships, organise people’s organs! For access to water, housing, electricity, education, sports etc. The people must own and control their own struggles, led and guided by community activists.

The problems  of capitalism affects  not only a certain section of society, hence the argument should be, we need leadership and are convinced, the youth is more energetic and capable to lead society, not only itself as a section!

Motjha-palong discussion  document for an example, argues that it advances the creation of a ‘national democratic society ‘, it further state in its approach to governance, it wants certain youth-controlled offices in the State. 

A form of youth ministry, which to me invites criticism, and should not be the bone of why the idea, some contents are too bureaucratic. Bureaucratic in a sense that it serves as no alternative to the current system which reproduces a crises after crises, youth unemployment, poverty, gender imbalances, etc. 

It is our responsibility to re-engage, re-structure the discussion to undergo a testing process of the NDR theory, particularly on the ‘national question’ and ‘revolutionary question’,  and ultimately, ‘the democratic question’,  we need to offer more strategic and tactical theoretical advances of the concept.

One area of the tactical advances is to develop political leadership amongst the youth. A disciplined leadership, capable of uniting and renewing the ANC. In the last  years or so, when the ANC  started to show signs of a deep impending catastrophe, the youth was not seen being collectively organised  to rescue it. 

Of today is a discussion of integrity and revolutionary morality of our organisation. Instead of taking opportunity  to serve as a new layer of leadership, we are seen to be struggling to grasp the moment and serve serve as as midwives of organisational transformation. 

We need to be found in the space of clarifying even the rogue elements that are destructive in our ranks, for an example the self-declared highest thinker on economic concepts, Carl Niehaus, we should not be co-opted not even by neo-liberals such as Tito and their sufferings of hypobulia.

Once we transform the organization to meet standards of of ethical leadership, that organization will be  a midwife of social and economic transformation. In conclusion, we are not a far-fetched detachment of generational mix, but an interlink thereof seeking to advance an ideological struggle through praxis  of speeding the need to radically advance the second phase of the national democratic revolution.


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