The panel discussions will be fiery and earnest. The rallies will be full. There will be food parcels. The television shows will feature entrepreneurs from Tembisa and youth activists from Gugulethu. It’s June 16, after all, and for this month we will all say the sympathetic things about young people and will make the right noises about their development.

The one thing we will not say is that they are not stupid, these young people. They can see a hustler from a mile away. And if there is anyone they know is a hustler it is a politician in a tight suit, a smooth car and a poor grasp of the difference between truth and lies.

Even as all the politicians preach about young people and their development, the youth have turned their backs on the political class. They have made their views known. Our politics have nothing to offer them.

They said this in May when the country went to the elections, but politicians didn’t listen to them. Maybe politicians should listen to them now, when we are supposed to be celebrating them. In case you didn’t notice, May 8 was a mess. The young showed politicians — and our politics of insult, spectacle, fisticuffs and corruption — the finger...

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