In the early hours of the morning, at around 8am, I sat in the old chair that my late father left me. It is my sincere hope that his soul, as well as those of people who died from covid-19, will be at rest.

Let me start things off by saying that I am angry, and that I believe that we should all be angry. Historically, anger brought about positive changes. Throughout our own history, Black people have fought against the system in order to dismantle poverty and apartheid. The youth of 1976 also demonstrated that anger can be a catalyst for revolution. Yet, I remain hopeful, because I believe that human beings possess the capacity to do better than we are.

However, we do not need the anger that Black South Africans possess at this stage. So, as a Black person growing up in the conflict-ridden country of South Africa, I hold myself accountable to do things better.

At 8 a.m., I arose from my bed in the morning of July 21st, after planning to go to town to print out some school documents. But when I woke up, I discovered that my country was on fire. I was inundated with messages telling me to cancel all my plans to go to town because the shops had been destroyed. As perplexed as I was, I picked up the phone to speak with a few people to confirm what I had been told. After learning that the information was indeed true, I was astonished and mesmerized at the same time.

I began wondering why it was necessary for people to burn their own resources and destroy the entire town. As I pondered the thought for some time, I was struck by a realisation. In order to give power to all of our voices, we, as Black people, have to revolt and vandalize systems and infrastructure. If we put forward rational opinions about how we wish to be treated, the system does not help us. There has been no actual improvement in our lives, only continued denigration and inferiority, even after colonialism and apartheid.

But …

There’ is a barbaric attitude at the core of the ongoing violence in this country, more so when it comes to people who support the idea of Zuma being released from prison. There is no legitimate reason to destroy facilities when we are angry or in difficult circumstances. Our attitude of burning buildings whenever we are angry or in difficult circumstances is irrational and dangerous. We need to think of the people working in those stores and supermarkets. What is going to happen to their jobs? What would become of their livelihood? The idea of burning things is a hollow, appeasing, and bankrupt one.

It does not mean that, if someone is found guilty by a court of law, their guilt should be lifted simply because they have some sort of power. There is an irrevocable law in South Africa, which states that there is no person above the law.

I am interested in the case of former South African President Jacob Zuma, whose incarceration enraged the majority of Black people last week. There is no evidence that people can incriminate him, but he was found guilty. Because of that, people are now setting fire to shops, buildings, and other important facilities, and several others are looting stores. While I accept that demonstrations are legal in South Africa, they must also adhere to certain principles. Are looting and vandalism part of those principles?

The Covid-19 issue is still lingering, so I believe demonstrations are inappropriate at this time.

It seems like the people demonstrating are motivated by a certain motive, and they want to advance the release of the former President by using the hashtag #FreeZuma as a platform to do so. Irrationality is the driving force behind this premise, so it should be condemned as illogical.

There is more we can achieve as Black people than what we are doing to this country right now. What kind of example are we setting for the future generation? Could it be that we are violent souls? Or could it be that violence is innate to us?

We have normalized violence as a culture and allowed it to destroy our nation. However, we have the power to change it because social norms are created by humans and they are not durable and hard to change. We become accustomed to something if we do it repeatedly, and it becomes commonplace if we are constantly confronted with the same thing. Ultimately, if Black people are going to vandalize public resources every single time they want something from the government, the future generation will all assume that, in order to get something from the government, they must strike and destroy facilities.


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