A white Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) member has gone from being relatively unknown within the party to a viral sensation.
His name is Jack Markovitz. Reports indicate he is 21 years old, and has been a member of the party for some time.
Markovitz was vocal in his disdain for racist white people in South Africa at Friday’s protest action at Brackenfell High School in Cape Town, after the school’s parents held an allegedly white-only private event for matric students.
Markovitz told IOL at the protest that his grandfather was Leon Markovitz, the DA’s former finance MEC in the Western Cape.
UCT student and @EFFSouthAfrica member Jack Markovitz speaking to the media about the protest outside #BrackenfellHighSchool .
Video: @PoswaGrant / @AfriNewsAgency #brackenfellhigh #EFFInBrackenfell pic.twitter.com/BDupvlZiUP
— IOL News (@IOL) November 20, 2020
“Racism is instilled inside the bones of these people,” Markovitz said of the white people they were marching against. “The only difference here [in Brackenfell] is that it’s more open and violent.”
Markovitz told the media at the protest that he went to a private school with “mostly white kids”, and that the stark separation of races was perpetuated throughout his school years.
— Ribes_2704✊???????????????? (@Ribes_L) November 20, 2020
“Nothing’s changed, it’s only gotten worse, over the past 30 years. And today I think we want to have that confrontation with these whites.
“It’s a violent state to live in, and today I think it’s time we fight back.”
But it is still unknown which branch of the EFF’s student command (SC) Markovitz belongs to.
It was reported that Markovitz was a student at the University of Cape Town (UCT), but UCT EFF secretary-general Daniel Erasmus confirmed to The Citizen that “he is not a member of our branch”.
“He claims to be a member but I am yet to find out which branch he belongs to. He is not a UCT student as far as we know.”
A member of EFF at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) told The Citizen that Markovitz was a UCT student, and was newly elected to the EFF UCT SC, which was why his SC affiliation was being questioned.
Regardless of which student command Markovitz was associated with, his presence garnered some interesting reactions from social media users.
I hope this video illustrates to prove to people that there are white people who acknowledge their privilege and want to fight alongside people of colour, and also be advocates of change. Well done to this young man, much respect.
— ブランドン IG: ilikebrandon (@i_likebrandon) November 20, 2020
We need more honest man like you young man… Your parents have done a good job✊✊✊✊✊ I salute you
— Thabsile Mbatha (@mbathalbt77) November 20, 2020
I fear for his safety..the racists don’t like anyone who stands with the oppressed. They will threaten him.
— DD (@DDZakArsenal) November 20, 2020
When a little private school trust fund kid goes to working class Brackenfell to live out his white saviour fantasy (with no skin in the game because he’s sorted for life) and has the nerve to insult the locals for being “poor whites”. That’s a bit of a revolutionary own goal. https://t.co/g7TpQHdbNa
— Jacques Maree (@JacquesMaree73) November 20, 2020
Jack Markovitz speak for yourself, do not speak on behalf of people you don’t know. What you saying is what you feel
— Mdanze18 (@mdanze18) November 20, 2020
When he said “these people” i felt like he was a part of us. Ladieso nyobiseng tlhe ???? pic.twitter.com/voLoJz7yeF
— ????????9.8M/s²???????? (@x_tortion) November 20, 2020
The frightening opinions of Jack Markovitz, a child of privilege, who believes that people in Brackenfell are “Poor whites who are angry” and defending “Generational wealth” https://t.co/BK9gKR3DIO
— Cape Party (@capeparty) November 20, 2020
— South African (@PieterBotha20) November 20, 2020
That’s how America confronts racism. White people stand up like Jack Markovitz and demand change!
— Dithabs (@LegongD) November 20, 2020
But Markovitz made it clear that Brackenfell was not the desired target to tackle racism, he said in another video seen by The Citizen.
“I think Brackenfell, there isn’t enough money here, these poor whites are angry and violent and bored with their life, and we need to take it where the rich people have money and still making money off that land, which is all generational wealth passed down from their parents.”
He said the DA was “still a white supremacist party”, perpetuating the racist attitudes being passed down, and painted a picture that “every single white neighbourhood” in South Africa relied on private security companies “to uphold apartheid in their neighbourhoods”.