Critiquing the violent actions of protesting students at university campuses all over the country, Gauteng ANC warned that the nation will no longer ignore the destructive behaviors of protesting students, stressing that the “I am poor, I must be violent” attitude cannot be normalized.
Addressing media practitioners in Pretoria at a gathering where ANC’s alliance partners, Solidarity and Afriforum met to discuss the troubles bedeviling the University of Pretoria and other institutions at the province, ANC Gauteng secretary Hope Papo stated that the violent occurrences across the campuses in South Africa must cease.
“The issue we will not accept is that because ‘I am poor I must be violent,” Papo stated, “we cannot allow that thing to be normalized, it cannot be that you can do as you like and there won’t be consequences. There has to be consequences for violence, there has to be consequences for intimidation,” he added.
With that, Papo tasked universities to be fast with slapping criminal charges against anyone who incites unrest on its premises. “Anybody who incites violence, the university must open a charge of incitement against that person.
And, the police must act because we can’t live in a country where people threaten each other on a daily basis and nothing happens.”
The ANC Youth League expressed similar sentiment, pointing out that the protests were championed by ill-advised and short-sighted fellows. Vuyo Mhaga, the ANCYL’s deputy chairperson in Gauteng said;
I don’t think we want to be in a situation where we turn the country into a bloodbath, and that is starting to come out, one way or another. There’s beginning to be a serious tension in South Africa. It might be easier for people who might not have engaged in war, to actually say that…
Remember there was an Arab Spring, the reality of the matter is that, that Arab Spring remains in a winter. There is still chaos.
So it’s easier to say, ‘let’s go in flames’. The reality of the matter is that when South Africa is in flames, we are not sure how long it will take us to basically come back.