Derek Hanekom

The youth of South Africa must defend human rights to be effective future leaders, Deputy Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom said on Saturday.

“You may have role models but you are also role models to others. You must inspire those people who look up to you,” he said at the launch of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation’s (AKF) Youth Leadership Programme in Lenasia, Johannesburg.

He said leadership should be seen as a collective effort and respect was earned through showing respect and humility in dealing with others.

AKF executive director Neeshan Balton said the young leadership programme was unique.

“What sets the AKF Youth Leadership Programme apart is that... young people will engage with current issues to improve their own lives as well as make a difference to communities they live in.”

Those who participated in the year-long programme, aimed at fostering non-racialism and nation building, would also gain skills to equip them as future leaders, he said. -Sapa