Madon­sela ‘de­stroy­ing’ blacks

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - HEN­RI­ETTE GELDEN­HUYS

THE pub­lic pro­tec­tor is “de­stroy­ing” black peo­ple, charged Sapho Mahili­hili as he toyi-toyied and sang along­side 16 other pro­test­ers in front of the West­ern Cape of­fices of Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor Thuli Madon­sela yes­ter­day. The group de­manded the of­fice in­ves­ti­gate apartheid cor­rup­tion. Mahili­hili said the fo­cus on Nkandla was “mis­guided” and a “drop in the ocean” com­pared with white cor­rup­tion “that lasted 400 years”.

He also took a swipe at Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa who, he said, had made an about-turn since found­ing the Na­tional Union of Minework­ers 34 years ago.

He “has jumped out of his black skin and is not a black per­son any­more”.

Black peo­ple in power were con­sid­ered white be­cause they were “col­lab­o­rat­ing with white cap­i­tal­ists, Mahili­hili added.

The ac­tivist, who co-led the #FeesMustFall move­ment at the Cape Penin­sula Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy, shouted at Sune Gries­sel, the West­ern Cape pub­lic pro­tec­tor’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive, say­ing: “You don’t care about black pain. You’re neo-colo­nial­ists. When black peo­ple come here to ask that crime be in­ves­ti­gated, you treat them badly.” Gries­sel did not re­spond. Mahilil­i­hili is also a mem­ber of po­lit­i­cal par­ties Black First Land First and the PAC, but yes­ter­day he rep­re­sented Black Sol­i­dar­ity Ac­tion, which hosted the protest.

Four­teen police of­fi­cers blocked the en­trance to the of­fices in Wale Street, while three West­ern Cape pub­lic or­der police vans parked nearby.

Pub­lic pro­tec­tor spokesman Oupa Se­galwe ac­cepted the pro­test­ers’ mem­o­ran­dum.

Se­galwe said the pub­lic pro­tec­tor was in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether the gov­ern­ment was act­ing cor­rectly by ig­nor­ing a rec­om­men­da­tion to de­mand the re­turn of R3.2 bil­lion in cor­rup­tion al­legedly com­mit­ted by the apartheid gov­ern­ment. Se­galwe said it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate for the pub­lic pro­tec­tor to in­ves­ti­gate apartheid cor­rup­tion since it only dealt with post-apartheid mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion or cor­rup­tion by state in­sti­tu­tions.

PICTURES: MICHAEL WALKER

Sapho Mahili­hili, and other black con­scious­ness pro­test­ers in front of the pub­lic pro­tec­tor’s of­fice in Cape Town yes­ter­day.

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