A contrasting view of the #ZumaMustFall protest action
By Filipp Stoliarov
South Africa’s constitutional rights are a blessing. These very rights enable us to participate in legal and mass protest action with a government and society that recognises mass-protest as a collective right. The recent (#)ZumaMustFall marches across the nation on the 7th of April struck a very concerning note. It seems that this protest agenda would value our right to protest, in so much as they uphold economic capabilities.
You are free to choose, you are free to participate. One cannot forcibly mobilize you to support a cause. As a result, many people voiced surprise and concern at the lack of overwhelming support for the protest; about sixty to seventy thousand people took part across the nation (not enough to fill the FNB soccer stadium in Johannesburg). Apathy and unity make for a contentious connection.
Karl Cloete, Deputy General Secretary of NUMSA, comments in the Daily Maverick about the class agenda within the latest ZumaMustFall protests. His commentary highlights that democratic and capitalist elements within South Africa’s democratic project are incompatible to the point where economic forces might be in conflict with working class citizens. Thus, removing Zuma is fixing an external symptom rather than the core problem of capitalist state capture.
Our moment of socio-economic and moral lapse came when the constitutional court ruling on Nkandla found President Zuma guilty of violating his oath as president. Regardless of political affiliation, personal values or cultural sentiment, we needed to organise and protest until a new president was placed into power. Instead, we accepted a degradation of our rights and the contract we as a democratic people hold over all civil servants (remember, the president serves you!).
Use your power. Be an active citizen! Use your energy and talents to register and transport people to vote. You think a protest is effective? You must see what a healthy and active democracy can do.