NEWS

Students Are Showing Apathy About Friday's Protests

"Where were you during Fees Must Fall?"

07/04/2017 06:08 SAST | Updated 07/04/2017 07:50 SAST
noxolo.mafu [6:26 PM]

Ahead of Friday's shutdown, The Huffington Post South Africa scouted young South Africans to hear what they thought about the action.

The marches, organised against corruption and calling on President Jacob Zuma to stand down after his sacking of finance minister Pravin Gordan last week and hosted by organisations such as Zuma Must Fall, Save South Africa and We Are South Africans, calls on everyone to spurn work, university and school and take to the streets.

Some of the students HuffPost SA spoke to thought it was a march only for whites, others cited a lack of interest or said the general public hadn't supported them during #FeesMustFall protest.

One example online was a march to Tashas restaurant in Melrose Arch, calling on South Africans to "bring your children, your caretakers, your dogs, your live-in security and housekeepers" to march against corruption.

Those HuffPost SA interviewed included Themba Simelane* (25) who plans on spending his Friday working as he would normally. He said he does not support the cause, because it has come about through "a couple of people being upset, and I'm sorry to say this but white people [being upset]", he said.

"We've had black people being put into caskets and no one striked; we had Fees Must Fall [during which] black kids got shot at; they got arrested; they got put into the back of vans and there was not a big middle class strike. That was a big moment in South Africa ... but they said 'no, people mustn't damage things', without understanding that people are angry and tired, but now when it's their time to be tired, [they want] everyone to stand up and support them".

Similarly, Nozibusiso Dindikazi (21) echoed Simelane's views: "White people make excuses using phrases like 'regardless of race' but where were they during Fees Must Fall? And then now they're saying we should shut down, we all need to take to the streets".

*Sean, and his friend *Nick, both 20, said that if university continued as normal then they would go to class. Sean said: "I think there's a human chain or something happening in my neighbourhood. So if we're not going [to class] then I might go there; I know some people who are gonna go, so we might go there and do something ... about the crisis that's going on in our country, it can't happen anymore".

Nick said he won't be going because "personally I don't like conflict ... so I'd prefer not to get involved".

Sinethemba Mbatha (21) says she'll be staying home and doing her assignments. "With regard to the reshuffle..I feel like as much as we cannot do anything anymore, people should just accept it, it's hard yes, but it's something we just have to get used to".

*Not their real names