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