Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has warned the Democratic Alliance (DA) to desist from defying the legacy of former President Nelson Mandela to promote their own selfish interests.
The minister said this on Monday following DA’s launch of a poster with the headline: “Honour Madiba’s dream, vote DA” which raised much criticism against the party.
While addressing the students at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in his capacity as SA Communist Party general secretary and African National Congress national executive committee member, Nzimande said Mandela ought to be largely respected by all for his role in fighting against injustice.
Nzimande said that he visited the grave sites of the black and white soldiers who were among the more than 2,500 killed at the Battle of Delville Wood, in France, during World War 1 and there,
They were only allowed to load guns for white soldiers and had gone over the blessing of the ANC, with the understanding that there would be discussions over black rights on their return with then-head of state Jan Smuts.
Nzimande, who is also general secretary of the SA Communist Party (SACP), then urged students to vote for the ANC in the August 3 municipal elections, saying it was the only party which could deliver quality education.
The minister also warned the students not to fall for the revision of stories the DA portrayed about South Africans, particularly black people. He said this after accusing the DA of trying to rewrite SA’s history and how the ANC contributed towards democracy.
“It’s important to tell our own history so that we know where the ANC comes from and where our struggles come from.” he said
Speaking further, the minister spoke to the students about the role youths play in voting and urged them to get involved in student politics as a way to tackle issues affecting them.
He emphasized the participation of the youth in building a better society and future for all and expressed confidence that the ANC can reclaim the city of Cape Town if young people work hard enough, in support of the ANC.