The ANC Youth League and Young Communist League have since last year been receiving full-time training at several SANDF military bases across the country. The training is government funded and currently at least 8000 black youths 18-35 years of age will receive 2 years training at a military base. No whites are included in this programme, nor any youths from any other political Youth groups.
According to the Defence and Military Veteran Minister, they aim to train about 20 000 youths a year. The first batch to receive training were 500 youths recommended by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, altogether the Department recruited 2500 to take part in the programme and has urged them “to emulate the young revolutionaries of the 1976 generation”. “Skills development will include discipline, patriotism, life skills, rights awareness and specific skills areas empowering youth to change rural areas”. The official name for the group is the National Rural Youth Service Corps(Narysec).
In May last year, 600 Narysec recruits had already received training at a military base in Bloemfontein. Their commander ordered them to paint the words ‘UHURU’ on white stones overlooking a busy road. The incident needs to be viewed in context, since it occurred just days after the murder of the AWB leader Eugene Terre’Blanche, making the message seem even more relevant and threatening to the Afrikaners and farmers living nearby. ‘Uhuru’ means ‘freedom’ in Swahili but in South Africa the word has generally taken a different term, meaning the ‘killing of all whites’. The word is associated with large-scale violence and massacres against former white colonists in African countries gaining independence in the 60’s and 70’s. If you ask anyone in SA they’ll know what you’re referring to if you mention ‘uhuru’.
The Afrikaner civil rights group AfriForum tried to give a petition to the Minister and ask for more details in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. Their request for information on the subject was rejected and called ‘unnecessary’ and they were told the Minister did ‘not have time to answer questions’ from them. The Minister has however been quoted in the past as saying that the programme was started in order “to train the youths as rural census-takers”.
This has led AfriForum to officially launch a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act to force the Minister to give public details about the nature of these civilian-military training schemes. The reply so far from the Ministry of Defence has been that even though training takes place at military bases no military training takes place “but we teach them how to salute and parade and we show them the guns”. They claim they do not teach the recruits to use the guns though. The Minister also claims they are taught “a lot of skills such as electrical engineering, business management and other skills.”
Though why these skills need to be taught at a military base instead of the many specialised colleges and training campuses across the country is still a mystery. It sounds more like a loop-hole for the ANC to use the law and public funds to militarise their followers, particularly the Youth League.
The fact that political youth groups affiliated with the government will be receiving training at military bases is an ominous one with too many horrific parallels in modern history.
One of the most recent and most relevant would be Zimbabwe.Their National Youth Services militia also started out with the same claims and were later used as a tool for invading white-owned farms and property.But their main acts of terror were against the population in general, using murder, rape and violence to intimidate voters and punish areas which had dared support the MDC opposition party. The youth are always the easiest to mould ideologically and due to conditioning at such a young age have often been some of the cruellest torturers. For example, the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia used mainly teenagers as their torturers and interrogators in the notorious Tuol Sleng torture facility.
Likewise, the Red Guards, who were mobilised by Mao Zedong in China, were mostly students and teenagers. There are many cases of these youths publicly denouncing and even torturing and killing their own parents. Another more obvious example would be the Hitler Youth. They never received weapons training before the war, most of the focus was on political indoctrination and mentally preparing them for conflict and war. As well as familiarising them with military life and procedures such as basic training, marching, unit cohesion etc.
Besides military training, the most dangerous aspect is the propaganda and indoctrination, since all members will be associated with the ruling party and will have their ideology and principles drummed into their heads on a daily basis. And at the age where propaganda would have the maximum effect in shaping their minds.
The ANC claim they won’t be using any weapons, only ‘shown’ them. Personally, I don’t believe this. Why are they training at a military base in the first place for so-called ‘life-skills’ and ‘management’ training? This could be done in any school or college. They’ll also use military-style uniforms, have ranks and use military salutes.
The government must think the public is either very naive or very stupid. Or maybe they just don’t care what anyone thinks since they have the majority in parliament, and like with all other laws they can just steam-roll whatever policies they want in place, no matter the public reaction, especially from the opposition parties. Either way, having civilian members from the ruling party in a one-party dominant state receive military training is never a good idea.
At least in a so-called democracy.