WATCH | Jozi2Stellenbosch group protests in 'heart of Afrikanerdom'
A group of young protesters took their ideological fight from Johannesburg to what they believe is the “heart of Afrikanerdom”, the wine lands town of Stellenbosch.
On Wednesday the small but energetic group — who claimed to have marched from Johannesburg with nothing but blankets draped over their shoulders, in the fashion of the Marikana miners who were massacred by police eight years ago — started their march from the heart of Kayamandi's newest informal settlement, Azania, to Stellenbosch CBD.
A fairly young group of protesters progressed towards Stellenbosch out of Kayamandi before being stopped by the police. They accuse the police of protecting white privilege are challenging the police to commit "another massacre" with reference to Marikana. @TimesLIVE pic.twitter.com/zNoCcyvvYS— Aron Hyman (@aron_hyman) August 12, 2020
There, they expected to meet head on their ideological enemy, “the whites, the settlers”. They carried a Black Power flag.
“Our demands are clear, we want our land, we want reparations, we want the return of the ex-miners. The ex-miners have been robbed forever in this country. They didn't get anything. We want our land, the time is now,” said one of the protest leaders, Zethu Mdudo.
The protesters carry a Black Power flag and several makeshift weapons, likely only for show. The group is small and it doesn't appear to have much support from local Kayamandi residents. Leadership in the township have distanced themself from the protest. @TimesLIVE pic.twitter.com/7sodrn6R9R— Aron Hyman (@aron_hyman) August 12, 2020
“We are sick and tired of white people doing as they please in this country. It's like we are visitors in our own land and we won't stop until our demands are met.
“We have been robbed since 1652 with the arrival of white people in this country,” she said.
The protest leaders say they came down to Stellenbosch to the "home of Afrikanerdom". He bemoaned the cramped conditions in Kayamandi and said protesters were going to go to Stellenbosch Town centre to "buy some things" from shops and restaurants. @TimesLIVE pic.twitter.com/abTconGjwO— Aron Hyman (@aron_hyman) August 12, 2020
Fellow leader Yonela Tyawu said the protesters marched to Stellenbosch because it is the epicentre of everything wrong with SA.
The Pan Africanist Congress pledged its support to the group but local leaders in Stellenbosch, who spoke to TimesLIVE on condition of anonymity, distanced themselves from the protesters for now, saying they were uncertain about what their demands were.
The group was small at first, but after an initial clash with police, more people started to join in stone-throwing.
Police then engaged in running battles with the protesters, dispersing them with rubber bullets and stun grenades. At least three protest leaders were arrested.