'He can't be liked by everyone - he is not an ice cream' - Cosas demands decisive action from Ramaphosa

30 September 2019 - 16:41 By ZINGISA MVUMVU
President Cyril Ramaphosa must take decisive action against undocumented foreigners selling drugs to children, says the Congress of South African Students (Cosas).
President Cyril Ramaphosa must take decisive action against undocumented foreigners selling drugs to children, says the Congress of South African Students (Cosas).

The Congress of South African Students (Cosas) has cautioned President Cyril Ramaphosa to be bold and stop trying to please everyone.

This is according to newly elected Cosas secretary-general Teboho Magafane, who spoke to TimesLIVE on Monday following the Cosas national congress at the weekend.

Magafane urged Ramaphosa to be decisive on undocumented foreign nationals, warning that if he failed to do so, Cosas would "teach him how to take decisions".

He said undocumented nationals who were selling drugs to pupils must be deported immediately, adding that the time to tip-toe around the matter was over.

"What is important is to address issues of social ills. For instance, now our generation is sinking in drugs and nyaope has become a career to them. It is our duty to conscientise them," said Magafane.

"We know of people from outside who are bringing drugs into our country. We need to deal with them. We know they are in the country without documents and they must go back.

"The president of the country must be decisive. He must not want to be liked by everyone. He is not an ice-cream; he is a leader who must take decisions - failing which we will teach him how to take decisions because we can see he wants to be liked by everyone and it cannot happen.

"If you go to other countries, you will not find everyone doing as they please, but in South Africa that is what is happening."

Magafane was joined by newly appointed Cosas president Itumeleng Ntsube. Both outlined the resolutions emanating from their national congress. These include:

  • rejecting the Grade 9 exit option as proposed by the department of basic education;
  • calling for the nationalisation of all private schools in the country;
  • calling for wholesale free and compulsory education until undergraduate level;
  • noting the continuation of neo-colonialism in South Africa;
  • aligning Cosas with the ANC's Nasrec resolutions;
  • calling on the ANC to introduce a bill to nationalise the Reserve Bank; and
  • condemning the use of money to to ascend to political office.

Ntsube said Cosas aimed to drive the agenda of "free, quality, compulsory and dynamic" education and would be taking a closer look at how the ANC implements its policies and election manifesto.

He said Cosas would continue to insist on a generational mix in the higher echelons of state power because the "old guard are making empty promises".

"As young people we need to take politics upon ourselves because what we have noticed is that the old people who are leading us are making promises that they cannot keep any more," said Ntsube.

"For instance, the National Development Plan says that by 2030 the unemployment rate will be reduced, but what we see is unemployment that keeps on rising. So what these old people are doing is setting us up for a failure. This you also see with the AU [African Union] 2063 Agenda. What is strange is that the people who drafted that agenda, they will not be there in 2063 because they are going to die very soon by the look of things.

"Therefore young people must begin to take politics seriously, because it's only through politics alongside the control of the economy that we can direct resources of the country in a way that favours us as young people - particularly on social programmes of government."