The African National Congress Youth League has noted with concern comments made by the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu with regards to his voting in next year’s general elections and specifically that he would not vote for the ANC.
The Archbishop is as a citizen of South Africa and thus can exercise his democratic right to vote for the party of his choice. He is however a voice respected by many in the country and therefore any utterances that he makes, particularly on so emotive a subject, must be factual and represent the reality of South Africa. Young people, who constitute a large voting bloc in the country, expect the Archbishop and other leaders to speak truth anchored by reality and facts and not anecdotal information based on
creativity and imagination.
In April, receiving the Templeton Prize, Archbishop Emeritus Tutu incredulously claimed that South Africa is the most violent country in the world. A study undertaken by the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development disputes this careless assertion by the Archbishop, how can we continue to believe him? He further claimed we are the most unequal country in the world, conveniently forgetting to mention to South Africans that we are only the most unequal country amongst those that are measured, not amongst all countries of the world – again he fails to tell the whole
truth, leading South African youth to conclude that the words uttered by the Archbishop are not worthy to be trusted.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is well aware where we come from as a
country, he himself played a key role in ensuring the attainment of the freedom and democracy we enjoy today. It is because of this freedom and the ANC-led government’s commitment to safeguarding our fundamental human rights that he enjoys the hard-won privilege to make the sort of assertions he does – true or not.
While there are challenges in South Africa, with corruption ranking high amongst them, the African National Congress remains best placed organisation to take forward our socio-economic transformation project started in 1994 and to build a country as envisioned in the Freedom Charter. The institutions that have been established to fight corruption are more than in many in similar countries throughout the world. It is the
ANC government itself that often exposes these incidents of corruption and actions being taken by government to curb them including the recent pronouncements by the Minister of Public Service and Administration and the work of the Auditor-General and Public Protector amongst other institutions of government.
The Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is a man of the cloth, should stand for truth and not sensationalism. We trust in future he would restrain himself from unscientific and anecdotal commentary, lest we question the real intention of his negative comments designed to confuse and discourage the youth and decampaign the ANC.
Issued by the African National Congress Youth League