As thousands gathered in front of the National Assembly to protest, hundreds of police used barbed wire to protect the sacred World Economic Forum at the convention centre. This is not my cause. I am but an ally, writes James de Villiers.
“As daai fokken joernalis nog een fokken foto van my neem… (If that fucken journalist takes one more fucken photo of me.)”
“As daai fokken joernalis nog een fokken foto van my neem dan arresteer ek hom . (If that fucken journalist takes one more fucken photo of me I’ll arrest him.)
“Men are trash” is written in red on my right cheek as the male police commander shouts at me in Afrikaans and points at me.
The hot Cape Town sun bakes down on the tar road below as mostly women gather in unison and riot police gather for action.
This is not my cause. I am but an ally.
The women weep. Their cries are not against the police.
They are simply begging for attention because their sisters are being slaughtered on our streets, their mothers raped in bedrooms and young girls abducted from schools.
Not even a post office seems to be a safe place to hide from the ongoing massacre.
But their cries appear to have fallen on deaf ears as they are repeatedly betrayed by men in higher positions.
They disrupt traffic out of desperation. What more must be done to make people listen?
Metres away, no more than a five-minute walk, leaders are gathered. At the World Economic Forum on Africa, the president begged for money while his own forces attacked our women.
Money – more important than attending to a mourning nation.
It took Ramaphosa more than 36 hours to respond after the body of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana was found – she had allegedly been killed at a post office – days after boxer Leighandre Jegels was killed, allegedly by her boyfriend. A statement enough to address a horrified nation.
And on Thursday morning, as thousands gathered in front of the National Assembly, hundreds of police used barbed wire to protect the sacred World Economic Forum on Africa at the convention centre.
Where were they when our men were killing women? Where was the urgency when our men raped women?
The president rushed to address the marchers, clearly aware what havoc might follow if he dared to ignore them.
But he did not apologise when he was finally forced to respond in person. Instead, he promised them action – promises we’ve all heard before as ministers stood beside him.
What took them so long?
And as he walked backed to his convoy, he laughed, holding up a poster. His ministers laughed as they waited for him to speak.
They laughed, heading back to the World Economic Forum on Africa.
South Africa, in an abusive relationship with our leaders: They promise to be there, but when have they ever?
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