“September the 12th Remember Biko”
Elitism will be the end of activism…
Throughout many liberation movements, we have seen the art of revolting, creating and spearheading beautiful and tragic activism led by young and old black people in particular. It is in few years back when the current South African state president butchered 34 Marikana workers, who were rebelling against exploitation and low wages – may their Souls Rest in Revolutionary Peace.
It is a contradiction call that seeks to awaken what recruited us to different political formations, political ideologies and subsequently national/international discourse, for it is through activism that many movements in colonial Azania were born.
It was through activism that students and academics from the Cape called for Rhodes’ statue to be removed for he represents colonialism and oppression to this country. Why is it that his statue was still paraded for decades post-democracy?
Through activism, young men and women of South Africa, particularly in Johannesburg -the Economic Hub of this country and arguably in Africa, marched against E-Tolls, for they were/are ridiculous and inconsiderate of the state of our economy and daily commuters.
Fast forward a few months, it is through activism that we saw the birth of the mighty EFFSC. By working with other leftist structures and the general student populace- all led by the militant spirit of activism- the #MustFall Era was born. The emergence of the #MustFall movement marked the growing presence of a high resistance revolutionary position, the first to have ever come through our generation. It is through this activism that black students ensured, and continue to ensure, that not a day passes without action towards our own emancipation taking place.
We were introduced to various leaders, pastors, principles etc. who assisted and guided the movement, since it had somehow become uncontrollable to some parts of the state. That, was according to me, a greater action, for there is no measurement of violence set to oppress us, and no one must measure our highs of anger and response to oppression.
Students began to embark on a long and productive struggle of reading different African literature – Pan-Afrikanist, Marxism, Leninism, Cabralism, Sanakarist, just to mention a few, in order to gain wisdom, advance, and keep the ground motivated. The amount of activism in reading and transforming theories into action was automatic. Institutions like VUT, TUT, UJ and North West University were at the forefront of implementing “anarchy” as a method of political conversation, whilst Wits and UCT utilized and appealed to the “Media” and mainstream politics to advance the discourse- all led by activism.
The EFFSC will go down in history books for embarking on, and leading mass movement protests. Elitism took many progressive forces and introduced them to businesses, corporations and political high offices which continue to rob us of quality activism and the quest to continue fighting for what is right.
Due to the lack of activism we have only two months to gather and prepare a solid document to prove that yes indeed, we as student activists are of need, as per the remarks made by the son of the Congress Julius Malema in Mangaung on the 15th of July.
The EFFSC cannot be disbanded, when we have on-going programs like #SizoFundaNgenkani that each year assists thousands of students in different institutions with their registrations and application processes.
It is through our arrival that security guards and cleaners are in-sourced and have become University staff. We did that by dealing decisively with one of our fundamental principles which is to do away with tenders and stockbrokers at Universities.
The EFFSC is an ongoing school for Cadre development, ideological shaping and content contribution to our movement as a whole, as our mother-body has limited programs in research and teaching. Removal of this student wing will be a risk to the country since vice chancellors of most, if not all universities, are still corrupt and the universities are harboring thugs. These vice chancellors need to be challenged and it is only through the EFFSC that a mass action through its membership can take this conversation to another level.
The vanguard of the students remains the refugee to many. We need representation in all institutions and at all levels. For our activism to advance, we need to consider governance politics as well. The enemy can’t be left alone to manage governance, hence securing and ensuring that we occupy every political space in institutions of higher learning remains paramount.
The EFF can’t distance itself from EFFSC UJ because it carries a different form of activism. They are winning elections and they are good at mass mobilization- key elements of having a strong structure. Why and what informs the reason of distancing the EFF from EFFSC UJ?
We thank EFFSC UP for their hard work and coming back with 4 seats representation from that white and colonial institution that is still under the premise of white people. It remains a clear indication of how white privilege looks like. I’d also like to commend DUT for winning 12/15 seats. We are well represented there. KwaZulu-Natal remains a clear home of the EFFSC, students understand our movement better in that province than in any other province in this country.
Ours is not only to win elections and end there, but to deal with historical and structural elements of apartheid and racism present in institutions of higher learning. EFFSC must live, and be given full control over itself to arrange and manage its affairs without interference so that activism doesn’t die in our hearts.
*This is an edited version of the original submission.
**Featured image from @RhodesMustFall twitter account.