Enough social media activism, it's time to stand up - Soweto gathering told

2016-04-16 15:34


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Johannesburg - A University of Witwatersrand student has called on the youth to step away from social media activism and to literally stand up and join the call for President Jacob Zuma to step down.

Addressing a meeting convened by the People's Consultative Assembly for Democracy in Soweto, a student who identified herself as Naledi, told the hall she was worried about the example that Zuma had set by violating the Constitution.

The group is supported by civic and faith-based organisations, as well as social movements and activists.

"For a generation of young people who understand that freedom comes with responsibility, we are very concerned."

She called on other young South Africans to join in the call and to defend the country's democracy.

"This is our time as the South African youth to do the right thing. The problem with us youth is we are silent, and our silence makes them think we are stupid."

She said young people needed to move away from the trend of only speaking out on their cellphones and through trendy social media hashtags, such as the day's #RiseSouthAfrica.

"We literally need to be rising for South Africa," she said.

The University of Johannesburg's Soweto campus main hall was a melting pot of anger and frustration on Saturday, as calls for Zuma to step down increased.

Calls for the ANC to take action against Zuma, or for him to resign, have increased since the Constitutional Court judgment that he and the National Assembly had acted inconsistently with the law by not acting on the recommendations by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela that Zuma pay back a portion of the money spent on non-security upgrades at his Nkandla homestead.

A week after Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng handed down judgment on March 31, a group of top activists and senior ANC members marched to the court calling for Zuma to step down.

Among them were former deputy ANC secretary general Cheryl Carolus, former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils, former justice Zac Yacoob, Zwelinzima Vavi, former ANC Youth League leader Ronald Lamola, and others who had come together as members of the People's Consultative Assembly for Democracy.

Another young concerned citizen who addressed the meeting was Thato Masemola, who told the crowd that he did not want to sit back and do nothing as danger approached.

"As a 23-year-old I am worried about what country I am going to inherit. I urge all youth to come and join [the call]."

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  politics

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