Government properties have fallen victim of mass destruction by protesters across South Africa and this has been a huge concern to the government as it loses millions of rand to these effect.
To this end, public protector Thuli Madonsela has called on protesters mostly the youths, to seek other ways of showing their anger instead of destroying infrastructure.
Madonsela who was making this call on Tuesday at the launch of the Civics Academy said destruction of infrastructure does not show any act of patriotism by the citizens
“We hear you. We know you have right to be angry about social injustice. However this is our country. It is not someone else’s country.
“Let us not destroy our own infrastructure. You only destroy the infrastructure of the enemy. We are supposed to be a building generation.”
The Civil Academy is a new online education initiative that aims to strengthen democratic values and inspire active citizenship among the youth. It’s an online resource in partnership between the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Hanns Seidel Foundation.
The launch coincides with the anniversary of the inauguration of the late President Nelson Mandela‚ the country’s first democratically elected president‚ 22 years ago. The initiative also covers educational content related to democracy‚ governance‚ elections‚ political parties‚ the justice system‚ the Constitution‚ economics‚ human rights and the environment.
Madonsela’s call was in reaction to the recently vandalized schools in Vhuwani in Limpopo in the past week as residents expressed discontent regarding municipal demarcation in that area.
“The generation of 1976 were the stone-throwers. The generation of today is meant to be the builders‚” Madonsela said adding that young people ought to know their rights and the Constitution so that they will partake in giving the world a better change.
According to her, though the initiative came 20 years too late, there is still hope it would achieve its objectives of having leaders the country wanted.
“They will know who to ask questions when things are not going their way. If a road had not been built‚ they would have confidence to talk to the right people. If that does not succeed‚ they could petition and go to Chapter nine institutions.”
She also appreciated youth movements such as #Feesmustfall as they adopted different forms of protest which included sit-ins and debates. This is a proof that youths could protest without being violence.
Meanwhile, the National House of Traditional Leaders remains hopeful that with its members and the Inter-Ministerial Task Team working together to resolve the issues that led to the recent violent protests in the Limpopo area of Vuwani, peace will soon be restored to the area.
Deputy chairman of the house Chief Sipho Mahlangu condemned the violence and alleged tribalism that had besieged the troubled the area recently. He however assured that peace will definately be restored in the area soon.
“There must be peace and stability in Vuwani and we must allow life to go back to normality‚” said Mahlangu during a meeting near Polokwane on Tuesday.