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Malema: June 1976 struggle not only about Afrikaans, but to liberate the mind

Julius Malema delivered his party's June 16 lecture at the University of Fort Hare on Sunday to celebrate Youth Day which commemorates the Soweto Uprisings of 1976.

FILE: EFF leader Julius Malema at Orlando Stadium on 5 May 2019. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The youth's struggle in 1976 was not just against Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in schools, but a struggle to liberate the minds of African youth, said Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Malema.

Malema delivered his party's June 16 lecture at the University of Fort Hare on Sunday to celebrate Youth Day which commemorates the Soweto Uprisings of 1976.

"The youth of 1976, when they fought against Afrikaans, knew that the coloniser wanted to make them into the coloniser's image. The image of the coloniser is to want to bleach your skin, straighten your hair and to speak English better than the coloniser.

"June 16 happened not because of ANC. It happened because of Steve Biko. Those children were following the ideas of Black Consciousness.

"The struggle of 1976 was not just against Afrikaans, it was a struggle to liberate the mind. They knew the continuation of the oppression of the minds of black people, would never allow us to realise complete freedom.

"Like the 1976 generation, ours is not a` struggle to attain power immediately. Before we become ministers, before we occupy seats of power, let us liberate the mind."

Malema also addressed struggles today's youth face, including unemployment, HIV/Aids and education.

"Young people are dying of Aids, young people are unemployed, young people have no access to education, young people are exploited and yet we continue to re-elect the same officials into power - it is because our minds are not liberated.

"We must fight for economic freedom until we attain it. We must not abandon our generational mission for political expediency."

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