He was addressing delegates at the Memorial Lecture of former ANC President Dr Alfred Xuma at the City Hall- Johannesburg, last Friday.
“Dr Xuma’s philosophy was education and youth empowerment first. And this went on to produce great youth leaders of this movement,” said Zuma at the packed gallery attended by amongst others Paul Mashatile, Baleka Mbete and disgruntled MEC Humphrey Mmezi.
Dr Xuma, who was the President of the ANC from 1940 was a respected leader and first black Physician Doctor (1927) from Eastern Cape before settling at Sophiatown, were he continued with the unbanning of the ANC movement, alongside the likes of the late OR Tambo, Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela, amongst others.
Before joining Wits University at the later stage, Dr Xuma was a student at Fort Hare of which he was part of the establishment.
Before doing doctorate, he became a teacher at the young age of 18.
“This memorial lectures should help us understand what the culture and policies of the organization originate from. They were not plotted last year or few years ago. They have history which must be followed,” says Zuma much to the roaring applause.
The Xuma and other former ANC President’s families also attended.
Despite being outnumbered and eventually taken out as the President in 1949 by Dr James Moroka, Dr Xuma was a loyal cadre who was part of the highest decision making body of the ANC until his death.
Challenges facing the country and the ANC should be discussed and deliberated upon, without fear or favour, says President Zuma.
The President also dismissed criticism of The Second Transition, arguing that it was premature and that the policy document should be debated first.
Next week’s ANC Policy Conference will discuss such matters.
In his closing remark, Zuma also called for the much anticipated Political School which he said, would help in making informed and calculative decisions, particularly in the re-emergence of youth empowerment and the creation of the Young Academic Science Instititute would help to empower our youth’s academically, and made a referral to the international SKA to be held possibly in SA.
Currently the President is in Mexico for the G20 Summit.