The 7th of April was a monuments day. On Friday, the people of South Africa came together in all of the big cities to protest against our leader.
People were angered about the corruption and destruction he has left in his wake. Being rated ‘Junk’ by more than one ratings agency. Stealing money. Putting himself before his country. South Africa had to stand up. And even while we were trying to do that, Fitch matched S&P’s rating of BB+ to declare us Junk again.
But did every single person marching march for the same reason?
South Africans were there for one reason: the end to the reign of corruption Jacob Zuma has brought. And the end of Zuma seemed to be the core purpose and reason that every one, regardless of party-affiliation, was marching for.
However, did other parties seize this opportunity to do some pre-election advertising? Mmusi Maimane, leader of the DA, happened to be present at the march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria. He urged all, regardless of their preferred party, to continue to unite in the fight against Zuma.
As good of a cause it is, is having the marches lead by opposition parties the best idea?
One could argue that the entire ANC is at fault for not doing anything about the increasingly nefarious President.
Is it the whole ANC that we need to bash or is it just Zuma’s small group of followers who have the country under their thumb? Can we blame his followers for being that way? Is the pull of money or the fear of blackmail more powerful than the will of the people?
The ANC Youth League was very much a part of the action of Friday. Violence incited by them can only be looked down upon. Of course, they are fighting for what they believe in but to attack peaceful protestors is never justified.
I think a very important question that we need to ask is why so many South Africans, wealthy and white South Africans, finally woke up and decided to march? And whether or not this is necessarily a bad thing?
TSA has stated our position on this point previously, speaking about how it is late for the wealthy now. But doesn’t the saying go ‘Better late than never’?
Although people only decide to react when things are bad for them and even though empathy and awareness is often not common pr acted upon amongst the wealthy, it would be worse if the ‘rich people’ of South Africa did nothing now.
The situation is so terrible that even the privileged are protesting!
At least awareness is being spread. At the marches in Pretoria, there were banners calling for Justice For Marikana. People made posters bringing attention to all sorts of incidents that were left in the dust. The fair land ownership situation, the grants debacle etc…
Even the EFF were amidst the marchers. Despite early cynicism, the marches were fairly diverse. To see it from TSA’s perspective, go take a look at our videos on Instagram.
Were the protests legal and was there any reason for violence? Unfortunately, we cannot say that all of the marches were legal however most of them were. South Africans were told on Thursday night television that they had the right to march however violence would not be condoned. In order to ensure safety, police officers were just on the outskirts of many of the marches.
Despite the minister pleading with us to restrain from fighting one another, some violence did break out as there were some protesters who were opposed to those who were protesting for Zuma to fall.
Could one argue that the violence was needed to create a distinct mark between the Zuma supporters and their adversaries? Would there have been any violence if the marches weren’t led by an opposition party?
Of all of these questions, the most important one to be considered is this: Were the protests enough for Zuma to step down? If not, what is the way forward and what will it take for him to step down?
Maimane suggests continued marches. Political analysts remain adamant that the only way for Zuma to leave is for the ANC to lose votes.
But how did the marches actually affect the ANC?
The ANC reacted in a dismissive and obscure manner. While Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma racily deletes a tweet in which she labels the marches ‘rubbish’, Zuma tells those speaking out against him, “don’t use the comrades who have died as a platform to perpetuate disunity”, referring to Pravin Gordhan and Barbra Hogan speaking out against him at Kathrada’s funeral.
While these are not direct reactions and obviously the marches did not get Zuma impeached, hopefully the ANC will see that if they continue down this doomed road they might end up without their two-thirds majority at the next elections in 2019.
Resign Zuma, resign. Save the ANC and South Africa.
Important to note: The nuclear programme is expected to come into effect in June. Read more: