NEWS

Zuma Supporters' Protection Of Luthuli House Was A Fight For Their Democracy

"We would rather die, than give this land to white people."

07/04/2017 19:15 SAST | Updated 10/04/2017 09:45 SAST
ANALYSIS
Zuma is not going anywhere until 2019. Those who are calling for his removal did not even vote for him.
"It cannot be any Tom, Dick, and Harry telling us what to do," these were the words of a supporter of the ANC and President Jacob Zuma. He was one of a few thousand who gathered outside Luthuli House to protect it from those who dared to come near it.
ANC supporters were ready to fight anyone who sought to disrespect their space. To them Luthuli House is a sacred space, the mecca of the ANC and not Zuma's house. Two supporters told Huffington Post, if people want Zuma they must go find him at the Union Buildings, Luthuli House is not his home. "This is our revolutionary house, this is not a government house," Lulu Malisa, an ANC member said.
And protect the headquarters they did. Three white people came near Luthuli House with a banner that was anti-Zuma. "You must be joking", the banner read, angering the crowds gathered on Helen Joseph, Pixley Seme and the Beyers Naude Square near Luthuli House.
All it took for those who did not even see the sign to run, were the calls of their comrades who shouted "DA!". A crowd that was gathered closer to Simmonds street ran down Helen Joseph, up the stairs across Beyers Naude shouting: "Why are they here? Save SA from what?" As the crowd grew increasingly angry the police managed to get the three people into a police van and out of harms way. MKMVA troops stood between ANC members and the police van carrying these perpetrators.
Some of those shouting at the three white offenders, asked: "Why don't they tell Helen Zille to go?" The protection of Luthuli House it seemed, was more than just a protection of the ANC headquarters. To these people, it was also a protection of the South African democracy their forefathers fought for. All morning ANC supporters made it clear that theirs wasn't just a fight for Zuma, it was also a fight against white rule. Theirs was a fight to keep Zuma's power as it would keep white people, in the form of the DA, away from the most powerful seat in the land -- the seat of the president. Even though Mmusi Maimane has tried by all means to shed himself of the "Helen Zille's puppet" view, some still see him as such and therefore see the DA as a representation of whiteness.
"Bona ga gona lefase la maburu mona! This is our land!," a protestor shouted at the front lines of a group marching up Pixley Seme street.
"I'm against Helen Zille from the DA. She's using a black man to fight against his own people here in Johannesburg," Bishop Robertson, a member of the PAC said.
"White people want to protect their wealth. And because uZuma ubathinte kumanerves that is why they are saying Zuma must fall," Lulu Malisa said.
"We know we are being controlled by the minority. The manipulate the rand every time. We've got nothing to lose right now," Meka Xaba, a member of the ANC said.
But what about the cabinet reshuffle? What about junk status and the effects it will have on the poor?
Each person we asked seemed to agree: junk status is a myth. It's also part of the ploy by white people to get rid of Zuma. Radical economic transformation is coming, this is what will save poor people and this is what they believe the president stands for.