The Youth League is expected to hold its much-anticipated congress before the end of January next year
LINDOKUHLE Xulu, the #FeesMustFall activist, is on the list of candidates tipped for the position of the next ANC Youth League president, and if successful Xulu says the honeymoon will be over for those who put education on the back seat and prioritised the establishment of fruitless commissions of inquiry at the expense of free education .
The Youth League is expected to hold its much-anticipated congress before the end of January next year.
The last time the ANCYL convened a national congress was in Bloemfontein in 2015, when Collen Maine was elected.
Under the leadership of Maine the league failed to maintain its relevance, its NEC was disbanded and a task team was appointed to take over.
Speaking to the Daily News on Tuesday, a day after he celebrated his 30th birthday, Xulu said the ANCYL would come back with more fire and energy to shape the country.
“It’s no secret that my name has been nominated, but I am not actively involved in the campaign known as LX21. In the ANC we do not campaign for positions, we engage members on who we think are the best people to lead. I know that people are engaging about me becoming the next ANCYL president,” he said.
Xulu said that while the ANCYL believed in the fight against corruption, the country could not prioritise “gossip commissions” at the expense of education.
“Why not capacitate the law enforcement agencies, including the police, to deal with corruption rather than to put so much money into commissions of inquiry.
“ We cannot turn this country into a country of commissions. We are going to highlight the current issues because you cannot cut the education budget to fund fruitless commissions.
“What do we gain from these commissions, such as the Marikana Commission, and the Zondo Commission into State Capture which has already spent more than R700 million of taxpayers’ money, and a huge chunk of these funds are going towards legal fees and evidence leaders,” said Xulu.
Born in Nquthu, Xulu started his primary schooling there and after the death of his grandfather due to politically-related conflicts his family relocated to Vryheid.
Xulu was introduced to politics at the age of 17 while he was a student at Mpumelelo High School, a Roman Catholic church run by the government.
While in Grade 11 he got involved in politics and was part of a group of students who fought against the conditions at the boarding facility – about the food, beds and other conditions that were not up to standard.
He was at the forefront of the fight against the school imposing Christianity on all pupils, despite the fact that the school was a government school.
“The school imposed Christianity on pupils who were known to be members of the Nazareth Baptist Church, otherwise known as the Shembe Church.
“I was kicked out of school while in Grade 11 in 2009. Fortunately with the help of comrade Senzo Mchunu, who argued that it was not proper for me to be kicked out of the school, the following year I was able to return to complete my matric. That year I rented accommodation outside the school,” said Xulu.
At this point of his life, he knew very well that his passion was politics and that he wanted to take the political route.
In 2012, there was a relationship between the ANC and the NFP, and as the youth they did not agree with the appointment of NFP mayors, who they felt were incompetent.
“This affected service delivery in rural areas. We held a number of protests, asking the ANC to tell the NFP to change its mayors.
He was a member of the then North Coast Region, now called Musa Dladla Region, under the leadership of Sxaka Mthethwa.
“We introduced the youth into the system to join the ANCYL in Empangeni and in Melmoth, until such time that I moved to study political science at the University of Johannesburg.
In 2013, he was arrested during a protest over National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) issues.
In 2015, he was among the students who were against education being made a commodity.
“We were saying that education should be made available to everyone despite your financial status. We also raised the issue of private companies benefiting from institutions of higher learning to source graduates, but which were not playing a part in funding them.
“We proposed that at least 1.5% of the GDP should be invested in education,” he said.
Xulu ended up finishing his degree part time after he was banned from the campus.
He said the ANCYL was coming back with more fire and the message was clear, that the honeymoon was over.
He said the main task at hand was to force Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to reverse his decision to cut the education budget.
“We have declared Mboweni our special project. We are calling for him to withdraw his decision to cut the education budget, and If he does not listen we will call on President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire him.“
– Daily News