No blank pages in history: YCLSA remembers Ruth First
By Mluleki Dlelanga
On the political calendar of the Young Communist League of South Africa, the August month is the Ruth First Month. Annually the YCLSA always commemorate the life and times of Cde Ruth First through Ruth First Games. The 2017 Ruth First Memorial Games and lecture was convened in North West Province. Young People from across the length and breadth of South Africa from different sport codes and from Progressive Youth Alliance convened at Ikaneng Hall and stadium.
The Ruth First games was quiet political as well as the same time funny and exciting. The memorial lecture was delivered by our former National Secretary Cde Buti Manamela. It was indeed exciting and profound programme for the YCLSA to remember Ruth First whose imprint and sterling contribution in the YCLSA, the struggle against apartheid capitalism and struggle for socialism is immeasurable.
There are three very important areas that all young people in South Africa especially YCLSA members that they must understand about why do we remember Ruth First. Firstly, to remember Ruth First is to remember ourselves as the YCLSA. Secondly, we as the current generation and leadership of the YCLSA we are not the founders or the only leaders of this organization. Thirdly, is to teach in advance the coming generations of the YCLSA that communist’s organizations have a sound tradition of taking their history very serious.
As the YCLSA, we remember Ruth First when young people suffer from unemployment, inequality , poverty , HIV?AIDS, rape and killings, cannibalism , Ukuthwala, dying during circumcision season, drugs and alcohol , skills and empowerment, patronage politics through the corruption of the youth minds and as well as the love for crass materialism.
We also as part of remembering Ruth First would like to remind and inform all young people about the aims and objectives of the organisation of Ruth First the YCLSA. According to our constitution the aims and objectives is that the YCLSA shall:
- Serve as a preparatory school of the SACP, and shall rally young people behind the programme and policies of the Party and lead them in the struggle to advance youth development as an integral part of human and societal development.
- Strive to develop itself as a leading political force of the South African youth that derives guidance from Marxism-Leninism under the vanguard leadership of the SACP, and promote the interests of young people in the struggle to advance, deepen, defend, take responsibility for and complete the national democratic revolution which represents the shortest, most direct and suited road to socialism in the specific conditions of our society.
- Strive to be the leading force among young people in the struggle for the achievement of socialism which represents a transitional society towards the realisation of complete political liberation and universal emancipation of both human society and nature under the ultimate goal of a classless communist society.
- Struggle for the elimination of all forms of oppression, discrimination based on arbitrary grounds, and economic exploitation, and shall fight against capitalism, its highest stage imperialism and latest forms of manifestation.
- Strive to develop communist, working class political and moral convictions and imbue the spirit of collectivism in our members in particular and young people in general. The YCLSA aims to achieve this by among others organising, educating and mobilising its members in particular and young people in general in support of its aims and objectives and taking active involvement in the day to day struggles of the working people and the youth.
- Reject and fight against crime, corruption, the abuse of women, children, substances, drugs and alcohol.
- Fight for the equality of all young people, and against racism and patriarchy in all forms of their manifestation.
- Promote social, recreational and cultural activities among young people.
- Promote the understanding among the youth that the working class with a vanguard party is the only class capable of leading the people to socialism and that it is under socialism where for the first time it will be possible to achieve a better life for all.
WE MUST STRIVE TO BE LIKE RUTH FIRST
To strive to be like Ruth First must not be a slogan, to strive to be like Ruth First must be how we match our deeds with our actions. To strive to be like Ruth First is not just to wake up and say am Ruth First instead to strive to like Ruth First, first and foremost must be to be through to our convictions and communist ideas. To strive to be like Ruth First is not designing a t-shirt and put her face on it and write at the back that am like Ruth First instead to strive to be like Ruth First must be a continuous development on ideological training and acceptance to Marxism-Leninism as a philosophy. To strive to be like Ruth First is not to be a yes girl or yes boy instead to strive to like Ruth First is being intolerant to injustice. To strive to be like Ruth First is not no embrace regionalism or tribalism instead to strive to be like Ruth First is to fight and defeat regionalism or tribalism wherever it manifest itself. To strive to be like Ruth First is not to practice liberalism instead to strive to be like Ruth First is to combat liberalism. To strive to be like Ruth First is not to be ill-discipline instead to strive to be like Ruth First is to always observe discipline at all material times. To strive to like Ruth First must not just like join YCLSA and boost about membership instead to strive to be like Ruth First is to fully participating in all YCLSA activities. To strive to be like Ruth First is not only to be YCLSA member instead to strive like to be like Ruth First is also to be a member of the ANCYL and SASCO.
As we strive to be like Ruth First, what should we be pre-occupied with as the YCLSA members. All YCLSA members should be pre-occupied amongst by the following:
- Recruiting, growing, politicizing and defending the YCLSA.
- Make education fashionable.
- Ongoing political education and ideological training.
- Championing the needs, interests and aspirations of young people in our country.
- Recruiting for SACP, being in the fore-front of SACP programmes and defending the SACP.
- Upholding and defending our philosophy Marxism-Leninism.
If as the YCLSA members indeed we want to strive to be like Ruth First, we should consider the following:
- All YCLSA members should be highly dedicated to the struggle for socialism and be discipline.
- All YCLSA members must strive to produce more Ruth First amongst our ranks.
- All YCLSA members must master the art of time, space and condition.
- All YCLSA members must always be youthful.
As we remember Ruth First, we must all know that communism is the future of the world, the youth are the future for communism and YCLSA is the organization of the youth. We must further say YCLSA lives, YCLSA leads, YCLSA grows, YCLSA sharpens contradictions, YCLSA provide direction and YCLSA says Socialism in our lifetime, that’s the bottom line coz YCLSA says so!
Long live the undying spirit of Ruth First, Long live!
Long Live SACP, Long Live!
Long Live YCLSA, Long Live!
Cde Mluleki Dlelanga is the National Secretary of the YCLSA.