White people ‘must use privilege to back up students’

Students protest. Picture: Michel Bega

Students protest. Picture: Michel Bega

Poet Ntsiki Mazwai says it is these same ‘silent’ white people today who will want struggle credentials tomorrow.

Poet Ntsiki Mazwai has on Tuesday called on white South Africans to use their privilege to support the #FeesMustFall protests in the wake of the reported police brutality taking place at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits).

In a series of tweets, Mazwai says white people know the government listens to their cries, that they know how to make sure a burst water pipe gets fixed within 24 hours, but don’t know how to use their power for other people.

“Even at these protests … why are privileged white kids not forming a protective barrier for their black peers? Police won’t arrest them mos?”

She says it is these same silent white people today who will want struggle credentials tomorrow.

Though she has also lashed out at the African National Congress (ANC) government, she says she sometimes sees government doing something, while it’s white corporate South Africa she does not see pulling its weight.


Mazwai says the ANC has failed as leaders.

“Omg 1976 is happening all over again…thank u @MYANC for shooting students. Amazing show of leadership. U shud be proud. #FeesMustFall,” she tweets.

She further calls on “world media” to intervene and ultimately for foreign business to threaten to pull out of South Africa like they did during apartheid.

“During apartheid….countries stopped supporting SA….we need to keep world media informed of the atrocities happening in SA #FeesMustFall.”

However, it is not only white people Mazwai believe should use their privilege to support the #FeesMustFall protests. Home affairs spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete says these are interesting times, in response to a comment about Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) national chairperson Dali Mpofu and former Wits SRC president Mcebo Dlamini leading students into a confrontation with security forces.

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“And how is Mayihlome using his bit of power and privilege to support the call by the African child?” asks Mazwai. She further questions Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s silence on the protests.

“Where is Nkosazana-Dlamini and the African Union when children are being teargassed?”

Read some of her tweets below:





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