With more than 20 years of democracy, tomorrow South Africans will celebrate the day that the dream of an equal South Africa was realised – Freedom Day. April 27, 1994, is a day that is marked by images of thousands queuing to cast their vote in the first democratic elections. This year, however, the iconic moment is blurred by political tension and mixed reactions towards the current leadership of our country, which many argue does not reflect the vision of the heroes of our land. In response, the People’s Assembly along with various activists and public figures are set to embark on a nationwide campaign calling President Zuma to step down.
Spokesperson, Miles Giljam, explained that the march will include protests by various churches, groups from the socialist left, and numerous pickets around the city, which is organized by South Africa First.
The march in Cape Town will begin at Keizersgracht and end at parliament, while the pickets are scheduled to take place at Cross Roads, Manenberg, Vanguard Drive, and Paradise Road,
The protests, Giljam noted, will not be isolated to Cape Town. In Johannesburg’s City Centre, a call has been made for everyone present to make noise at 1pm on freedom day, calling Zuma to step down.
He explained that protests are directed toward granting South Africans a medium to gain back their power and assist in building democracy.
“I think this is more than Zuma, it is about wanting the power of the nation to be given back to the people. It is time that we go back to those core principles of democracy,” Giljam asserted.
Protestors, Giljam noted, are attempting to curtail the power of the “elites” and, therefore, call on government to assist the most marginalised citizens of South Africa.
“We are going to make sure that we are going to stand up for ethics, values, good governance, and for serving the poor.”
With regards to the upcoming elections, Giljam explained that South Africa, as a participatory democracy, has not fulfilled the realities of the vision of anti-Apartheid freedom fighters.
“We have failed in our duty as citizens by assuming that if we vote we are fulfilling our duty since we trust the people that we vote for to do what they should do. But whether you are voting for the DA, EFF or ANC, the reality is that human beings are not perfect and need to be held accountable,” Giljam stated.
Giljam, while unpacking the reality of political parties, encourages citizens to cast their vote, but asserts that individuals should participate in “some way” in order to assist in reforming the state of the country.
“You could join a political party or it could be by doing voter education – just make sure that your leaders are being held accountable,” Giljam concluded.
For more information about the #ZumaMustFall marches, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/970502979731010/ or www.risesouthafrica.com