You can see it. We can see it. Everyone can see it: Cyril Ramaphosa’s latest slice of advice for young South Africans may have a light sprinkling of irony on the surface, after his speech at a Youth Day event encouraged this new generation of young adults to ‘shun friends’ who find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Ramaphosa issues warning about ‘criminal friends’
But, as we all know, president’s in glass mansions shouldn’t be throwing stones. There have been some titters online, with some reminding President Ramaphosa that he should probably dish this speech out to his colleagues first…
Youth Day latest – will Cyril heed his own advice?
It’s perhaps only fair that, before our youngsters get lectured about hanging around with criminals, that we jog Cyril’s mind a little: He was, after all, the deputy president at the height of state capture. As head of state, he has been tied up in controversies linked to Bosasa, the CR17 campaign, and Zweli Mkhize’s Digital Vibes contract.
No wonder there were a few giggles when Ramaphosa dropped this line, then. The 68-year-old, fresh from putting the country into Level 3 lockdown on Tuesday night, also encouraged younger citizens to ‘take control’ of their own futures:
“Say no to crime, and shun those who commit crime, even if they are your friends. We need to work together to combat the social ills like gender-based violence, gangsterism and substance abuse that are ravaging our people.”
“Just as the generation of 1976 did, I call on you to take responsibility for your future. This requires focus, patriotism, commitment, and consistency. In a word, it requires hard work. You are the generation born into democracy.”
Young men and women of South Africa,
Your country needs you.
We need you to rise, and demonstrate that a better life for all is indeed within our reach.
I call on you to put your innovation, creativity and energy at the disposal of our nation.https://t.co/3Hg3HktE3z
— Cyril Ramaphosa #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) June 16, 2021