THE CONGRESS OF SOUTH AFRICAN STUDENTS ON THE SHUTTING DOWN OF SCHOOLS AND THE SCOURGE OF GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE


 
Members of the Media
Members of the ANC-Led Mass Democratic Movement
Members of teacher formations in the country, particularly SADTU.
Branch members of the Congress of South African Students.

We wish to take this opportunity to pass our revolutionary condolences to the Mashatile Family. The Treasurer General of the ANC has unfortunately lost his mother Umama Marriam Nomvula Mashatile. We wish the family the ANC TG well during these trying times.
We further appeal to the family that they should stick to the measures put in place by the Government in terms of funeral arrangements. We would also wish to go and support them during these times but because funerals can only be attended by 50 people, we are unable to attend.

The 19th National Executive Committee of COSAS would wish to take this opportunity well and pass its revolutionary greetings at a time when South Africa and the entire world are faced with what the UN and the World Health Organization declares as the most or deadliest pandemic in the 21st century. 

South Africa has in that regard, under the stewardship of President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa placed South Africa under Lockdown in pursuit of slowing and delaying the spread of the pandemic as we learn or are taught that the virus will live amongst us for an unknown period of time. 

We are gradually learning, as law-abiding citizens to comply with all the measures put in place by the ANC led Government. 
This is even when pseudo and Gucci revolutionaries are trying by all means to derail the work done by the Government. We have seen some of them trying to be emotionally diplomatic by saying that the reopening of the economy is nothing but prioritization of profit. Knowing their rhetoric and frivolous character, when the economy is on its knees, they will come back to make the loudest noise saying that the economy should have long been opened. 

Julius Malema went as far as saying his son, Ratanang cannot wear a mask for 2 minutes. The New normal dictates that when one leaves his or her house, they must wear a mask. Julius, your son is not special.

It is for this reason that we would wish to warn our factory fault Julius Malema that the people of South Africa have put their outright confidence in the African National Congress; the world will never revolve around his perplexed and bemused mind.
 
ON STUDENTS MONTH. 

This media briefing comes 44 years after learners from Soweto took to the street to confront the brutal regime in an attempt to confront the then system of Bantu Education. Amongst them was the slain Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu and founding member of COSAS Cde Billy Masethla. 

The Congress of South African Students (COSAS) is utterly disgusted, extremely annoyed and angered by the behavior of ANCYL NYTT leaders which are adamant on crippling the unity and independence of our organization. We want to reiterate to them and their demagogues that COSAS belongs to the learners of South Africa not old people who are seeking relevance in society masquerading as youth leaders, they are failing to lead youth struggles because they are old and ignorant. 

Their deliberate exclusion of COSAS in Youth month activities and the PYA statement shows to not only us but the youth of this country that they are narrow minded, brainless and anti-youth. No one can ever dispute the contributions of our gigantic organization in the struggle against Apartheid, June 16 is a result of learners taking a stand against the system, but today we see reactionaries trying to erase history, trying to create a vacuum and exclude us from history. Their tragic attempts will never succeed, COSAS is led by young and vibrant activists that will never lose relevance or donate its struggles to elders. They represent a cohort of old people using the Congress youth league to divide the MDM, they have no vision for the youth of this country, they are a disgrace that continuously embarrasses us in public. They can’t even defend the ANC from opposition because their sole priority is to serve their bishops and cause divisions in their self-interests. 
We will not be bullied by people who could have joined and led COSAS whilst being learners but chose otherwise, and now think they will lead it via the NYTT. These elders are nothing but enemies of young people who use patronage and factionalism to consistently try to kill youth activism and cripple the Progressive Youth Alliance, wanting to dictate who must lead it and what they must say and when. 
Learner leaders in COSAS and PYA members are today up in arms against each other as the old guard continue to influence others to formulate parallels when congresses have not gone the way they wanted. They continue to do that even when the courts of law rule those tendencies illegal. 

One day, young people will be united by hunger and they will have nothing to eat but them! 

We call upon the ANC led Government to recognize the day as student’s day instead of Youth day because recognizing it as youth day, gives a perpetuation that people like the incapable Thandi Mahambehlale’s age are the ones who put the country into tartus. 
COSAS, in honor of the 1976 generation calls on government to uphold its value of democracy by scrapping what continues to be the real definition of inequality, discrimination and modern-day educational slavery, the IEB. All learners in the country should be examined by one body which is Umalusi and those that feel deserve an astray system must kiss their toxic minds.
 
ON GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

Equally on this month, we take our time to remember victims of Gender-Based Violence. A lot of people have succumbed their lives to the hands of their boyfriends and girlfriends. Some of the cases have seen justice and whereas others still remain mystified. 
We are worried about how extensive and pervasive Gender-Based Violence is in South African society, women in this country constantly live in panic, fear and anxiety of being part of the high statistics of violence in this country. 

It is also in this month that we come to attention of the brutal murder of Tshegofatso Pule and various other GBV cases in the country, we strongly condemn such with all our minds. We are making a vigorous call to the government that those that are found guilty of any nature of Gender-Based Violence should be locked up without parole, they should not be correctionally serviced but be punished. We are calling on the Government to redirect chicken meals from prisons to schools because in schools lies the greatest variation of our economy’s contributors. 
We also wish to take this time to remember the slain Dolly Dlamini from Lehlabile in the North West. The 22-year-old Dolly was brutally murdered by her cruel boyfriend in February. It is up to this date that the perpetrator is still roaming around the streets of Maboloka because of what the Former SACP General Secretary Comrade Chris Hani would refer to as rampant corruption by the SAPS.  

If indeed Justice is not selective in South Africa, we call upon President Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President DD Mabuza, Minister General Bheki Cele, Deputy Minister Cassel Mathale and General Khehla Sithole to gear in their SANDF and SAPS uniform, go and take away that pervert who does not deserve to live amongst people. 

This is a time for South Africans to come together and stand Against Gender Based Violence, STOP being askaris by defending and protecting orchestrators of these pathetic acts of injustice.
 
ON SHUTDOWN. 

We have continuously been in dialogue  with various stakeholders in  education sector since the declaration of the state of disaster and the commencement of the national  lockdown , subsequently leading to the extended closing of schools and the phased in opening of schools for Grades 7 &12 learners .We have taken quite a comprehensive approach in trying to save the school calendar year whilst saving lives of learners, teachers & support staff. Our approach ranges from writing proposals to the department of Basic Education, the portfolio on Basic Education, various bilaterals, approaching the court and unfortunately disrupting schools.  

We heard His Excellency President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa’s address, informing the country last week that “Even after 100 days, we are still near the beginning of this epidemic and it will remain with us for many more months, possibly years. The task of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is like running a marathon race and not a sprint, and we have therefore had to shape our response according to that reality.” 

This pandemic has unprecedented consequences on the livelihoods of South Africans, the economy and the education of learners. It is in this regard that we have decided to engage with the ministry of Basic Education on a comprehensive approach of the resumption of teaching and learning activities without disruptions from various structures of our organization in order to ensure that every child’s right to basic education is not infringed. This is after there were disruptions and closure of schools by our structures in the Free State, Eastern Cape and Western Cape because of lack of PPE’s, lack of water supply and inadequate safety practices. 

COSAS has embarked on the Shutdown initiative not because it does not cherish Education as a lifetime commodity, but because of the contrary response by the Department of Education where in other areas of the country, structures of the Department were not complying to what the Minister of Basic Education Mme Angie Motshekga had announced. 

In the racist DA led Western Cape, they even went as far as reopening schools on the 1st of June instead of the 8th of June. That Province has registered more than 1500 learner teacher Covid-19 cases because of that selfish Government. The people who are mostly affected by the infections are young blacks.  We call upon the people of Western Cape to punish DA on the polls next year because if not, things will become worse when time comes that you are led by BASTARDS like Julius Malema and his Ice Boy Mbuyiseni Ndlozi who is a Doctor of Philosophy by paper and brainless by nature. 

The reality we are facing as a country, is that, if COSAS, an organization which champions academic excellence continues with the nationwide shutdown, we would barely be denying young South Africans a right to education, we would not be any different to non-thinkers like Julius Malema and John Steinhuisen.  COSAS further understands that each and every province has its own different challenges, the challenges in Limpopo are different from those in North West, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga and all other provinces, hence we are now going to deal with different challenges in different manners.  

The same applies to different schools in the country. If we are dictated to a situation, where there is a case in the Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa High School, we are not going to shut down the Julius Malema School for the Insane but the school affected. The Department of Health will then execute its expert duties. 
We hope that all stakeholders of the sector realize the need for us to work together to actually ensure that learners conclude their school calendar year especially those who are at the exit grades and need to integrate in a new system all together. 
 
IN CONCLUSION 

We encourage all learners to continue practicing hygiene control, go to school and try their best to continue learning through these trying times of the new normal.  
We wish to close this press briefing with a quote by Fidel Castro “The first duty of the revolutionaries is to tell the truth. Fooling the people, promoting illusions, always brings the worst consequences.” Young people must never be silenced, the must never stops fighting for what is right. 

We call upon society to distance themselves from people who we today regret to describe as lumphens masquerading as leaders of society. The only authentic channel of communications is that of the 19th National Executive Committee and nothing else.
 
The Struggle continues!
 
END.
 
Yours in student leadership,
 
President General
Thabang Mokoena
060 926 0444

Secretary General
Teboho Magafane
073 3867 6392
 
Email: cosasnational@gmail.com
Twitter: @CosasHq
Facebook: COSAS HQ
Web: www.cosas.org.za

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