Why we want nothing to do with your #BlackMonday

A South African flag blows in the wind [flowcomm on flickr]

South Africans are donning black this Monday in protest of President Jacob Zuma’s recent cabinet reshuffle, but not us.

White South Africans, corporate backers of Save SA and factions of the ANC have convinced us that this is the last stand before South Africa’s imminent collapse, that Zuma is the embodiment of South Africa’s slide towards the fiscal failure of Zimbabwe, and that now is a time for unity. But for us, the time for unity has come and gone many times before.

Where were the corporates who now so vocally back Save SA during Marikana, when our own were massacred by the state? Where were their voices calling for a minimum wage and free education? Why weren’t they rallying for a national shutdown when the banks were outed for colluding in ways that belittled the economy they’re now so desperate to protect?

Did white people take to the streets when Helen Zille asked us to see the silver lining in genocide and oppression? Where was the petition calling for action against the inequality that falls on racial lines – like the complete failure of the education and health systems in the Eastern Cape, an ongoing crisis that has been ignored for decades and that highlights how for millions of people, South Africa has already collapsed.

So who and what are you really marching to protect this time?

Where were the now outspoken members of the ANC when their president was found guilty of using state funds to upgrade his Nkandla home?

Why is it only now that former finance minister Pravin Gordhan is quoting stats showing that 10% of South Africa owns 95% of the wealth? Where was his radical economic agenda during his term?

Why did they only decide to challenge President Zuma’s injustices after they were directly affected – and why have they shamelessly used the legacy of departed struggle icons to do so?

So no, I will not be wearing black to mourn South Africa today, because we should mourn South Africa every day, not just when we’re called upon by elites to fight their battles for them.

While we do stand against President Zuma and his brazen disregard for our lives and the lives of South Africa’s poorest and most marginalised, we will continue to struggle for South Africa and it will not be with you.

In the end, we still have to save SA from you too.

Featured image via Flickr.