Zuma’s Youth Day speech disrupted by protesters

President Jacob Zuma addressing the 2017 National Youth Day commemoration held in Tshing Sports Ground, Ventersdorp in the North West. Picture: GCIS
President Jacob Zuma addressing the 2017 National Youth Day commemoration held in Tshing Sports Ground, Ventersdorp in the North West. Picture: GCIS
President Jacob Zuma has been publicly rejected by yet another group of South Africans, this time a crowd that chanted “Zuma must go” at the Youth Day commemorative event in Ventersdorp, North West.

Although brief, the disruption comes just weeks after Zuma was prevented from addressing a workers’ day rally in the Free State due to consistent jeering and booing by hundreds in attendance.

Zuma was the main speaker at Friday’s event marking 41 years since the Soweto Uprisings that led to the death of students who were protesting against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in schools under the apartheid government.

The group that disrupted Zuma’s speech was quickly whisked away by what appeared to be security.

Jokingly, he said in Setswana: “there’s no disruption here, all is well,” as he began to address the young people gathered in their hundreds donning different school uniforms.

During his address, he listed a number of government’s achievements in its efforts to curb the country’s high youth unemployment rate, which is at over 50% and to “cushion” them from harsh economic conditions.

He also appealed for cohesion, despite existing differences.

“Whilst we may have differences on some issues currently, we need to put the country first and through working together solutions can be found,” he said.

The statement contradicts Zuma’s past utterances that he puts his party, the ANC first.

He further said government was empowering young people by creating job opportunities, training and funding support, emphasising the National Youth Development Agency’s new plans to reach more young entrepreneurs by opening more offices across the country.

“The NYDA has positively responded to the call of young people in all branches it will be equipped with free wifi services to provide young people with access to technology. It will prioritise education and the Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship supports 500 students annually,” he said.

He promised his administration would monitor all programmes aimed at assisting young people through the office of the Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Buti Manamela.

16 JUNE 2017 – THETO MAHLAKOANA – Tiso Black Star Group

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