Opinion | Guest Contributor | 2015.10.23 | 9 Muharram 1437 AH
Student protests have dominated headlines this week in South Africa. Guest contributor Fatima Moolla shares her opinion on our inability to negotiate calmly, and that South Africa's future leaders have to resort to the most extreme measures to have their voices heard.
Nelson Mandela famously said, that education is the most powerful weapon with which you can use to change the world. Every child has the right to education, and it is a violation of their rights that only high fees grant them such entry.
The 21st century is supposed to be a phase of progress and perfection, especially when it comes to improving our morals and values. It seems as to me however that we’re regressing and giving into a plague of moral degeneration. It is well understood that the way in which the current system is structured is unreasonable, and our government often displays failure to show leadership. However, why is it that negotiations in this country can never be dealt with in a calm manner?
As a young adult, what deeply saddens and concerns me that South Africa's future leaders have to resort to the most extreme measures to have their voices heard.
A lecturer at Wits said, that real violence is not threatening someone's position of power, rather it is the everyday violence of poverty forcing students to sleep on bathroom floors because they can not afford residence and fees altogether.
If that is the real violence, then why can’t we just protest that? In the blink of an eye, a peaceful protest turned into a raging riot. It is believed that one march was very controlled and disciplined until a man drove through a police barricade, which caused him run over a few bystanders. Despite the man being at fault, it gave no justification for him to be beaten or his car toppled over.
The pride and honour of a country is in their Parliament building. Storming into Parliment, burning tires at the entrance, instilling fear and agitation into their seniors, is leadership?
Apartheid is unfolding itself yet again, only during democratic reign. Arrests have been for trespassing governmental property and treason, with police opening fire oddly from all sides leaving no entries to flee. Is this leadership?
We are to feel ashamed, that as this country's politicians, police, forthcoming doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants and professors use irrational problem solving tools. These are educated learners, our future leaders who are resorting to violence and destruction as a solution to their struggle of inequality and social justice. Frankly said, violence is the weakness of the mind - from whichever faction it is.
I have hope for a brighter and better future. Let us put our comprehension to use and devise a logical strategy to reach an agreement with those in authority above us. Just as brother Edris Khamissa has suggested that it be done in a way that does not endanger any human nor vandalise property and vehicles - because just as we have a right to education, others have a right to safety and security. We should bear in mind above all, that respect takes us a long way and should be upheld no matter what the situation may be. Most importantly when it comes to our elders, leaders and teachers, because they are the ones who impart knowledge and skills to us. Without them the world would be dull.
It is said that the youth of today, are the leaders of tomorrow. Dear South African youth, ask yourself this question:
"Do I maintain remarkable traits, exemplary leadership qualities, and diplomatic problem solving techniques that will appraise me as being among one of the greatest leaders of my time? "
Abraham Lincoln very eloquently states, that the best way to predict your future is to create it. Oh youth of South Africa, judging from our actions - are we creating a better future for our country and ourselves or not?
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