STATEMENT ISSUED BY THOMAS MAHLANGU
GENERAL SECRETARY, UNITED DEMOCRATIC STUDENTS' MOVEMENT
United Democratic Students' Movement (UDESMO) is pleased to notice that
government appears to be taking the responsible route in the fight against
HIV/AIDS. Alas appearances do sometimes take a nefarious direction, especially
where the African National Congress (ANC) and funerals are concerned; after all,
the ANC is well known for its demagogy at funerals.
The UDESMO looks forward to the fulfilment of the announcement at a funeral in
Soweto by the Social Development Minister, Zola Skweyiya, that "the
Government is to fast track the Child Care Act to make it more responsive to the
needs of orphans." Having said this at a funeral graced by the presence of
high profile ANC and government representatives such as Zanele Mbeki and
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, it remains to be seen whether or not their presence was
just another attempt to score cheap political points for the ANC and government.
If however it does turn out that it was not just a political stunt, then the
UDESMO welcomes the effort.
The UDESMO challenges both the ANC and government to not only show other AIDS
orphans and the rest of South Africa that they are not just "funeral
demagogues" but to also show that they have the capacity to crumble our
president's stubbornness around the HIV and AIDS issue as well. As South
Africans, we know who wears the pants in the Mbeki family, but of interest is
who wears the "thinking cap" in the family.
Mr Thomas Mahlangu
UDESMO General Secretary
072 158 1351
25 September 2001