Don't blame Zuma for all SA's problems - march organisers

Durban - The #ZumaMustFall march in Cape Town addressed the pithy topic of white privilege as a form of corruption, march organisers Unite Against Corruption said on Wednesday.

The message was "well received" by the "mostly white crowd of about 10 000 people", it said in a statement.

"Speakers told protesters that it was their right to protest corruption in government and that the President should take responsibility for the high levels of graft, but that all South Africans should take responsibility to root out corruption, including their own," it read.

Unite Against Corruption is a broad coalition of more than 300 civil society groups representing unions, as well as religious and NGO sectors.

The theme of the protest was "No Reconciliation with Corruption", but it also embraced the #ZumaMustFall hashtag.

Organiser Miles Giljam said he was excited to see so many people having the courage to speak out and hold the president accountable for corruption in government.

"All South Africans have the right to protest when they feel things in the nation are going awry. It was hugely significant that so many people, who are not normally politically active, made the effort to be heard.

"But I was also very happy that the crowd responded well when challenged to tackle their own privilege and complicity in corruption.

"The right to protest comes with the responsibility to work towards solutions. It also means that we can't just be angry about issues that face us personally, but also fight for justice on the broader causes of systemic poverty in the nation," he said.

Craig Stewart, CEO of Cape Town based NGO The Warehouse Trust, told the crowd that the spirit of apartheid had proved to be much harder to put to death than the laws of apartheid.

"We cannot be naïve and fooled into thinking or acting as if President Zuma is the catalyst for all our economic crises in South Africa. He is not.

"We, especially those in this crowd who are white, must not and cannot ignore the fact that our economy's foundations are the maintenance of white domination and of black oppression and pain. The structures and systems built by apartheid and colonialism remain and it is their role that must fall."

Stewart encouraged white protesters to be active citizens, not because corruption threatened their livelihoods, but "because we are tired of living lives where our comfort comes at the expense of black people".

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