Members of the PAC remember party founder and Struggle icon Robert Sobukwe during a memorial lecture in his honour at Sammy Marks Square on Sunday. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/ANA
Pretoria - The future of young people in the country looked bleak due to the dismal economic situation and miserable educational system, PAC president Narius Moloto said.

Moloto was delivering a memorial lecture in honour of Struggle icon Robert Sobukwe under the theme “Searching for the Voice of Sobukwe” at Sammy Marks Square in the CBD on Sunday.

The lecture is delivered every February to commemorate Sobukwe's death on February 27, 1978 in Kimberley, Northern Cape.

Party members dressed in their traditional regalia chanted Struggle songs to honour Sobukwe. The occasion was graced by legendary music couple Caiphus Semenya and Letta Mbulu.

Sobukwe, who founded the PAC in 1959, was jailed on Robben Island and kept in solitary confinement throughout his prison term.

Moloto said Sobukwe had been instrumental in organising the mass resistance to apartheid pass laws that demanded the African people carried passes wherever they went.

His lecture painted a worrying picture of the country’s youth, who he said were devoid of hope because of the dismal economic situation.

Young people, he said, harboured no hope of entering the job market or owning homes because of rampant corruption that had eroded the dividends of freedom.

“The dividends of liberation have been eaten out by a terminally corrupt clique. In our country where these elites have looted, there is no room for youth, the unemployed and the poor. They have been brushed aside and forgotten,” he said.

According to Moloto, Sobukwe would weep at the condition in which people today find themselves, were he still alive.

PAC leader Narius Moloto delivers a memorial lecture in honour of Struggle icon Robert Sobukwe.
PAC leader Narius Moloto delivers a memorial lecture in honour of Struggle icon Robert Sobukwe who died while imprisoned on February 27, 1978.

“Half of our youth are not only jobless; they are unemployable and a product of an educational system that is miserable and dysfunctional.

"The young people of this country are tired of hearing old men talking about their role in the Struggle against apartheid,” he said.

He however cautioned that people must never demean the efforts of those who fought against the apartheid regime.

Moloto praised Sobukwe as one of Africa’s great intellectuals, who stood alongside Ghanaian great Kwame Nkrumah and Congolese political icon Patrice Lumumba.

He said Sobukwe campaigned passionately for a Pan Africanist vision, which was about African values of self-reliance, ingenuity, humanity, decency, industriousness and honour.

“Sobukwe campaigned for an African self-reliance, hard work and a lifetime spent in study. We are duty-bound to fulfil a much higher destiny.

"The voice of Robert Sobukwe is more relevant today than it has ever been. Of all the liberation leaders, Robert Sobukwe’s voice was considered the most dangerous,” he said.

Moloto said the PAC was preparing to take over the administration of government.

“We have the solutions to land, jobs, crime reduction and economic prosperity for all. We can no longer sit back and pretend that everything is fine,” he said.

Pretoria News