The President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, is a man rotten to the core. He and his cohorts stand for nothing but corruption, exploitation and self-greed. This is a statement that I whole-heartedly agree with.

The nation-wide protests and peaceful marches which took place last Friday were quite simply astonishing. To witness so many South African citizens, from all walks of life, standing together, united against a single man, felt like a shift in South African societies outlook on politics. But why march now? Why did it take this long for privileged, mostly white, citizens to react?

Don’t misunderstand me, it was moving to see South Africans displaying their dissatisfaction with a corrupt government, however I felt that many white-privileged citizens were merely protecting their own interests and never really had the country at heart. I am referring to the fact that the turning point for most South Africans was not another socio-economic crisis affecting black citizens but it was instead a downgrade of our economy to ‘junk status’ which will have an impact on the entire country however the more privileged will feel this impact more.

The reason that I, along with many other citizens, are critical of this movement is because the majority of white people are only protesting now because it directly affects their financial, privileged standing. This beautiful country has seen many social injustices occur in the recent past, #FeesMustFall, poor service delivery, reallocation of land and the continued state of poverty many citizens live through. But where were the majority of white people when protests were taking place regarding these matters?

Self-preservation is a key human trait (Freud, 1910). This can be linked to the reasons why people only act if they are directly affected. What Freud was saying is that people inherently hold their own interests above the interests of others regardless of the circumstances.

“When a socioeconomic crisis results in protests, don’t do nothing, even if it doesn’t affect you”- Unknown

So, should we as citizen’s protest against socio-economic injustices? Yes, I believe we should. Should my president, Jacob Zuma, be impeached? Most definitely. But I urge all South Africans to take the same stance, put up the same fight and display the same moral courage for all other social injustices even when these injustices do not directly affect you.


Freud, S. (1910). The psychoanalytic view of psychogenic disturbance of vision.

Quote taken from facebook. www.facebook.com Retrieved on 13/04/17


4 Replies to “#ZumaMustFall”

  1. Great perspective Josh! I never thought of how many people were almost being ‘selfish’ on that day – thinking of how it all of a sudden is affecting them and not how it has been affecting majority of the nation the entire time.

    Maybe so many people took part because they never had the courage or knew how to stand up against, essentially, the ‘most powerful’ man in the country. Either way, I think if people went to the marches with themselves in mind, uniting with everyone on that day surely broadened their perspective as so many cultures came together to fight for the same cause 🙂

    I love the power of your quote as well! Has this affected you in clinical practice in any way? Have any of your patients brought it up? Keep up the great work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Nins, thanks fro your comment. I wouldnt say that this directly affected me in clinical practice….I do think that the idea that everyone is trying to be better than the person next to them has had an impact on me though.

      People tend to only care if something directly impacts them. For example, imagine you are working at a hospital and budget for “nursing” is cut, meaning that some nurses will be retrenched, would you write/ speak to the hospital management or would you just be grateful that it wasnt your dept (physiotherapy) that was cut?! I am not saying that I have a superior standpoint, I just feel that too often people only look out for their own best interests.

      Thanks for the feedback

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a very insightful piece Josh, very relevant and much needed. Some of us were thinking the exact same thing but the fact that you brought it on this platform so we can engage on it is commendable. It is instilled in us that we treat patients holistically and the truth is working in public health settings exposes us to a lot of South Africans severely affected by our presidents and his cohorts(as you put it) greed, myself included. Now it is great that we all saw this self preservation move from the majority of the protesters but what do we do, as the people who see this? when is it enough to simply engage on it and take action, I myself do not have answers to these questions yet but it was just a thought I had. Coming together for one cause is proving to be a force to be reckoned with, may we rise up together on the other pressing issues of this country still affecting the majority. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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