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OPINION: Dololo #BlackMonday, dololo mass mobilisation

3 April 2017 2:49 PM
Social activist Carla Bernardo shares her views on why Facebook events and Twitter hashtags are not enough to tackle injustice.

Dololo #BlackMonday, dololo mass mobilisation

It's all good and well to create Facebook events and Twitter hashtags to rally support for Zuma’s impeachment and to stop the nuclear deal (if it hasn't gone through already).

But, when last did you engage with (i.e. listen to) the working class, the people corruption most effects, the majority in this country you so claim to love?

I'm no Amilcar Cabral and I've not spent any notable period of time in rural areas but, I think I have an okay understanding of this country's political context.

Poor black people have been fighting corruption for years. Pre- and post-1994. They've been protesting inadequate/non-existent service delivery. They've been protesting gang violence on the Cape Flats. They've been protesting unfair labour practices, inferior public transport, bigoted leadership, fat cats, collusion, and vile corporate profit margins.

But, dololo #BlackMonday.

The progressives have been calling for affordable and suitable housing (Reclaim the City), better policing, working water systems, literacy and numeracy classes, better-resourced schools, an education system that empowers us instead of perpetuating the objectives of Bantu education, the rightful recognition of the indigenous Khoisan.

But, dololo #BlackMonday. Dololo middle to upper-class rage.

As has already been said online, where was the countrywide, all-classes, all-races rage with Marikana? With Imizamo Yethu burning, AGAIN? With the murder of Mishkah Hendricks who was pushing her baby in a pram when the fatal shot was fired? With renewed forced removals in the oh-so-beautiful City of Cape Town? With the annual non-delivery of textbooks in the Eastern Cape? With the continued construction of concentration camps otherwise known as townships and the Cape Flats? With mosques being vandalised? With Life Esidimeni? With Lily Mine? With violent attacks on black lesbians? With anti-mining in Xolobeni? With the dop system and FAS? With, with, with.

Where was it?

So you see, if you're calling on the masses for support, you should probably ensure you're coming from a point of having actually supported the masses. And, not simply from the point of your concern for capital outflow and withering investments.

Hopefully, you're coming from a point where you're supporting all causes for social and economic justice.

Hopefully, you're donating to Reclaim the City and joining the occupation. Hopefully, you're cutting profits and increasing workers' pay. Hopefully, you're providing staff transport because while you may be unable to provide decent housing in the inner city, you're ensuring your workers' pay goes to living and not to travelling.

Hopefully, you're using your TEFL course to assist in teaching English as an additional language, here, at home. Hopefully, you're donating to more than just an animal welfare and spending something on keeping grassroots organisations for your fellow humans afloat.

And hopefully, you're ensuring that if we are to successfully remove Zuma, you're also looking at your peers and planning, with equal vigour, to remove those who continue to steal from the masses and pillage this country's pockets.

Because if we are to rid ourselves of the rot, then we must do so in its entirety.

Zuma is small fry and little more than a figurehead. He is, as is the case with many presidents around the world and through the ages, surrounded by rich individuals vying for patronage and power. The Guptas have simply closed the doors for the majority of the usual suspects but they're all there, waiting anxiously for a chance to cozy up to number one yet again. So simply ridding ourselves of the Gupta gang is not enough.

There are other, well-dressed, eloquent, and equally powerful gangsters waiting for the president's ear (Zuma and his successors). They're just a lot better at hiding it (perhaps because they've been doing it for longer?).

And while it's pretty obvious that Zuma is captured, there are other leaders who too have interests to protect, individuals to protect.

There are those who are tired of pussyfooting and who are becoming more blatant in their hate for the poor, black majority. Those who spend more time on Twitter than on delivering on promises made simply to win the working-class vote. Helen Zille is simply the easiest to name here.

Then there are those who pose as radicals, the pseudo-revolutionaries who send their children to private schools and accept funding from media owners, from banks, and from that very White Monopoly Capital they claim to hate. Those who have family in the upper echelons of the banking sector but plead poverty. Those who despise women, homosexuals, and care little about the poor black majority but dare utter the names of true revolutionaries such as possibly our greatest loss of leadership, Chris Hani.

I'm prone to going on a tangent so let me get to the point: if you are not fighting corruption, greed, theft, and state capture in every form, in every nationality, and in every race it presents itself, do not expect mass support.

You cannot possibly believe you can do this without us, at least not authentically so. You may win the Zuma fight but corruption will continue to fester, entrenching itself in the national psyche.

And at some point, it will affect your profits. It will affect your properties. It will affect your private schools and artisanal pleasures.

So tackle corruption and greed in its entirety. Support our struggles, call out injustice wherever it is. Do what's right - always. Realise that even with our inferior English, our darker skins, our landlessness, our increasing debt, our hunger, our ill-fitted clothing, our places on the periphery, and our unheard, unwanted voices, you need us. Realise that you need us.

Do this or, dololo mass mobilisation. And dololo a Zuma impeachment.

Carla Bernardo is a student of African Politics proudly from a predominantly working class family. She's moved from journalism to communications, allowing her to publicly support Reclaim the City and declare her love for Fidel Castro.


3 April 2017 2:49 PM