The People’s March

Damon Leff

On Friday 7 April, South African citizens across the country are exercising their constitutional right to publicly protest against the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma.

In the wake of rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgrading South Africa’s economy to junk status – non-investment grade (BB+) – following the cabinet reshuffle and removal of Pravin Gordhan as Minister of Finance by Zuma, South African civil society groups, African National Congress struggle stalwarts, trade unions, all opposition political parties and ordinary citizens have united in a call for accountable and ethical government by demanding the resignation of the President.

The refusal by the ANC NEC to discipline the President following a shameful legacy of unfettered corruption, illegality and ineptitude, and now confirmed allegations of attempts to capture undue State influence, aided and abetted by Zuma, by an identified family for personal profit, has raised the ire of South Africans across colour, religious and political affiliations. Jacob Zuma must resign.

Civil mobilization against the ANC President has naturally been condemned by ANC members struggling to hold on to their party’s shrinking political majority. “The KZN ANC’s Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association was reported to be deploying 600 armed members to “defend the governing party’s Luthuli House against ‘the enemy’ marching to demand President Jacob Zuma’s resignation.” Deputy Minister of Defence, Kebby Maphatsoe, Kebby Maphatsoe, MKMVA’s leader, today retracted the threat and said MK Veterans would not resort to violence. ANC Youth league members in every province have vowed to “take care of them [anti-Zuma protestors] and teach them proper and correct politics of the congress movement” (sic).

On Facebook and other social media platforms ANC members have taken to harassing and threatening protestors with violence, many calling for a return to armed struggle against what they term “white monopoly capital” supporters who seek to remove Zuma from office. Some in the ANC, it seems, would rather start a civil war than respect the legal right of citizens to engage in active dêmos krátos.

Tshwane ANC councillors ignored a 2011 High Court order banning the singing of ‘dubula ibhunu’ (‘shoot the boer, kill the boer’) when they sang the song on Thursday, disrupting proceedings by Democratic Alliance mayor Solly Msimanga during the State of the Capital Address. When it comes to Zuma and his supporters, the rule of law appears to be repeatedly relegated to a relative suggestion only.

A special sitting of Parliament will be convened on April 18 to debate a no-confidence motion against President Jacob Zuma. In terms of section 89 of the Constitution “The National Assembly, by a resolution adopted with a supporting vote of at least two thirds of its members, may remove the President from office only on the grounds of (a) a serious violation of the Constitution or the law; (b) serious misconduct; or (c) inability to perform the functions of office.” Opposition parties are unlikely to persuade ANC Parliamentarians to vote against Zuma, whose term ends in 2019 when South Africa’s 6th national election takes place.

South African citizens seeking to exercise their constitutionally protected right to protest and picket stand on the threshold of what could be a momentous calamity, or a transient populace victory for the expression of civil rights and democracy.

Pagan magic workers are supporting ‘the people’s march’. Many have indicated their intention to work for justice through peaceful protest. I asked a few of them to share their thoughts on the protest and their personal magical activism.

Eclectic Pagan, Michael Thom responded to my request by saying “I will light candles of all colours of the South African flag and perform a blessing for a peaceful and fruitful protest. I work well with the Angels so I will invoke Michael for protection and Gabriel to assist in making our message to the powers that be, clear and concise. I am protesting against a corrupt and self-centred President, not against a political party. My intention is not based on race or religion. I am participating for the well-being of all citizens of our country. I hope that the protest marches will open people’s eyes to see that regardless of race, religion, political affiliations and class, we all stand together, unified as citizens of South Africa against corruption. If we can achieve this as a unified country, we can achieve anything.”

Colleen Mollentze says she will not be protesting against Jacob Zuma. “Our country has been in trouble for a long, long time and we have been through a lot.  I support FMF, I support people opposing displacement such as recently in Cape Town, I support landless people’s movements and other rights protests.  This feels like a protest by the haves to retain what they have and trying to co-opt the have-nots, while not showing up for them and even opposing their movements.”

Colleen does however intend working magic for peaceful protests. “I intend to do a working for a peaceful and non-violent march because I do not want anyone to get hurt, something that is likely in the current rather volatile climate. I hope that the (mostly middle class, mostly white) people who will be marching tomorrow will use this as a starting point to learn more about the many layers of oppression in this country and will become more supportive of people’s attempts to create a more just society.  I hope they will show up for black people, LGBTQIA+ people, landless people, homeless people, that they will get uncomfortable and learn and really do the hard work to help build a better world for all.”

Stella Temple will be gathering with others in a small village in the mountains of Limpopo. “I prefer to use the positive word; I’m protecting, not protesting my beloved country, for future generations.” Stella has not planned any magic ritual, “It’s all about intent anyway.”  “My hope is that the rainbow nation can come together with a common purpose to free our country from corruption and fraud.”

A Druidic Pagan who prefers to use the pseudonym ‘Moondragon’ is using magic activism. “I am protesting against the utter disregard by Zuma and his cronies for our democracy, our laws and the unbelievable corruption in SA. I did a special working for ‘Zupta’ [Zuma + Gupta]  at the last dark moon and I have been asking Brighid in her activist form to assist with keeping the peace during my flame-tending vigil which started at sunset yesterday and will be completed at sunset today.”

Samantha Jagger says many of her friends as well as members from Aquarian Foundation will be supporting the protest. “The protests are about how the country has been mis-governed to the point of junk status, and all the economic issues because of that, the lawlessness and violence and racial hatred. We as a group of Master Class members of Aquarian Foundation meet specifically to perform ceremonial magic and transformation ceremonies. We specifically direct blue light for peace, balance, harmony, order and justice. We use violet fires of transformation and white and silver light for protection, which we direct to these kinds of situations. We say the Great Invocation morning and night, powerful positive affirmations, and work with our guides and Ascended Masters to bring change. We hope the protests will bring change in the country, and peace.”

The true value of Friday’s public protest lies in the free expression of the will of citizens emboldened to stand against a government that has demonstrated a lack of public accountability and good governance. The people’s march won’t unseat the President, but it will demonstrate that citizens do not approve of the way in which the African National Congress and its President is governing South Africa.

List of some protests taking place nationwide on the 7th of April 2017
#PeoplesMarch #SouthAfricaWillRise


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