George Floyd killing triggers ANC, SACP and Cosatu to start Black Friday
George Floyd's death at the hands of the police has sparked protests across the US and beyond. It has also inspired the ANC-led tripartite alliance to start a campaign to raise awareness of the “demon of racism”.
The ruling party will on Friday launch “Black Friday” to show solidarity with African Americans. The campaign includes a call for South Africans to wear black every Friday to show solidarity in the fight against racism, said ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte.
Duarte said institutionalised racism must be confronted by progressive forces about the world, including South Africa.
“The USA, and its African American community in particular, has played a critical role in our own struggle against the institutionalised racism of apartheid,” she said.
“Today, we must as a nation add our voices in solidarity to their call: that black lives matter.
“The alliance, starting Friday 5 June at 7pm through an event to be addressed by ANC president Ramaphosa and other alliance leaders, will launch its campaign of solidarity with the peoples of the USA.
“It will be the start of our Black Fridays, where henceforth we all are called upon to wear black on this day of the week.”
Racial attacks on Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who has been growing unpopular due to her role overseeing the Covid-19 lockdown regulations, appears to have been the secondary trigger for the ANC's campaign.
Dlamini-Zuma has been the target of an onslaught on social media over some of the lockdown regulations, particularly the banning of tobacco sales.
Speaking on behalf of the alliance, Duarte said: “The alliance also notes that the demon of racism remains a blight on the soul of our nation. It reflects itself in institutionalised racism, in apartheid geography, in the economy and in social spheres.
“It also finds expression in the kind of blatant racism and misogyny in social media that we’ve seen against minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.”
The alliance, following a meeting of its secretariat, also offered a mild rebuke of heavy-handedness by law enforcement in SA. This follows heavy criticism of their silence on the much-publicised killing of Collins Khosa during the lockdown.
“The deaths of citizens at the hands of security forces are of deep concern to the alliance. Security forces, as set out in our constitution, must secure the safety of communities and act against crime,” said Duarte.
“They must be tough — but act in the spirit of the constitution.”