Why White South Africa Needs a PK*

Yesterday was one of those days where you kind of wish social media hadn’t been invented because, worse by far than the envy someone’s holiday in Prague inspires, it means you get  exposed to a kind of ignorance you’d like to think doesn’t exist. And to top it all, some of the people showing their stupidity to all the world are amongst your so-called friends. I read some of the tweets and status updates regarding #FeesMustFall and the comments that followed and started to respond, but got overcome by a dismay so deep it made me want to adopt the foetal position and rock back and forth with my thumb in my mouth until it all went away. Only, it won’t. So, to maintain my own sanity I’m going to respond, in brief, to the pearls – the ones that make you shake your head in wonderment that these people made it to the age of 50 (or 40 or 30) without falling down a long-drop or setting themselves alight. Here they are, in no particular order:

“They want it handed to them on a silver platter. They don’t understand that to succeed you have to work hard.”
Um. Firstly, who are ‘they’? But that’s a minor stjoepid compared to the rest. If you were the only person in the world who didn’t see the facebook meme that reads, ‘if wealth was about hard work every woman in Africa would be a billionaire,’ let me explain in short. Like wealth, poverty is not a choice. It comes as a result of very specific socio-political determinants that favour a small portion of the population (you) and disfavour the rest (your maid). In short, you didn’t get a job as a manager and your cleaner as a cleaner because of your superior intellect and work ethic. She works longer, harder and dirtier than you ever will for a pittance that barely keeps her kids in school. All these young South Africans want is the chance to not be cleaners. To leave the township, to afford electricity. To have basic human rights. No amount of part-time work in South Africa will cover the cost of their tuition. These students have jobs. It’s not enough. All they are asking is to be allowed an education so that they can be productive members of society. Why is that so hard to understand? I don’t know, but come over here, you need a klap.

“If I want to go overseas but can’t afford the ticket I don’t go to the airport and protest. I work hard and I save.”
These youngsters are not asking to go on overseas holidays, they are asking to be allowed to finish their degrees so that they can become tax-paying citizens like you and I. They are asking for a tiny fraction of the opportunities that we, as white South Africans, take for granted and believe are our god-given right. They aren’t asking for leg ups, they are simply asking that their one opportunity at freeing themselves from the cycle of poverty is not taken away from them. Why aren’t you supporting this effort? Don’t you understand it is for the good of all of us if South Africa lowers its unemployment rate; that if more people enter the workforce and join the middle class it translates to more money and freedom for everyone? Don’t you want this country to have a stable economy? These people are fighting for our future, for our kids’ futures. They are taking to the streets and protesting and getting arrested to save South Africa while you sound off on Facebook about how unfair it all is. No, sis on you. Come here for your klap.

“My brother has studied so hard and he’s trying to write his exams and now he can’t because of these protestors and he’s extremely stressed. If you want your degree, study and write your exams like everyone else. Stop trying to get out of it.”
We are very sorry that your brother has been inconvenienced by the student protests. We are shedding real tears of sadness for him and his friends in Constantia whose Plett holiday now hangs in the balance. I know – why don’t you get in your Mini Coopers and drive to the airport with your dad’s credit card and buy one-way tickets to Perth because you have no role to play in the future of this beautiful, troubled country. In fact, you and your kind are part of the problem. But first, come here. You’re both getting a klap.

“I work 50 hours a week and I study overseas. It is possible, but nobody wants to see it.”
Damn these students for having every opportunity to succeed but still being annoying and asking for more! I have a plan for middle class South Africans across the colour bar. Instead of taking a gap year and waitering in London, the government – like they do with medical graduates – must send you to the township for 12 months. There you must live in a shack, do a menial job, wash your clothes by hand, use a public toilet and survive with no external help for the duration of your time there. If you have to fetch your own water, so much the better. It’s the only way we will ever understand the difference between rich and poor lives; the only way the privileged few are ever going to ‘get it’. It’s dangerous? Correct. Public transport is unreliable? Shame. You have a toothache but can’t afford the dentist? Crying for you. It seems, without this experience, the privileged continue to have no conception of their privilege or the blissful ignorance in which they live their lives. Since it’s unlikely this will ever happen, I’m going to have to settle for your klap.

*Poes Klap (sorry, Mom)


74 thoughts on “Why White South Africa Needs a PK*

  1. I forward you the same response as someone else who had a similar article recently: We will only be a true rainbow nation if we can stop referringto ourselves as black and white.  We fuelthat hate every time we ourselves use those two words to describe a person.There is many good people and many bad people, many richmany poor.  We are teaching our childrenabout hate, instead of love.  Have youseen an old white lady with a black child they play and laugh, there is no hatethere.  We are not born racist.  We teach it to our children.  In America when the black slaves wereimported like livestock it was unknown that is why people feared it.  Have we not come a long way since then?  And even in America there are still racists,because you get idiots in every color?We need to focus more on education to give everyone a fairchance.  I don’t like using black andwhite, because how do we let something as biological as that define who we are.If education is free to all, everyone will have equal opportunity.  A single mother from a previous disadvantagedfamily cannot afford to send their kids to university or private school.  If it is free to all she would not need toworry about that.  If you look at the comment the spoilt little rich girl madethis week at UTC about just ask your dad for the money, why is the fee increasea problem i cried.  Some people have toleave school at 16 to provide for their younger siblings because there is noone, and a little rich girl cannot even see that some people 1. Have noparents, 2 have no money and probably don’t even have food, but they are tryingto send their child to university, so they can have a better future than theyhad.The point I want to make to the ANC to EFF to the DA. Let usas people stop focusing on color and rather on education.  If you catch yourselves describing someone aswhite or black stop yourself.  Talk aboutthe one with the bubbly personality or curly hair.  But do not let those words out of yourmount.  We need to stand together for ourcountry, for our people, for our country. I would be ashamed if i committed fraud; I am not onlyrisking my job, but also betraying my country for money.  I think it is much more than a crime, I thinkit is committing treason agents my country and should be punished.  If the punishment for that is severe, lesspeople will try to commit it.  If you loseeverything you own and get life imprisonment in isolation will the leaders ofthe country still sell out our economy? Our free education? Our health caresystem?  If the municipal worker does notwork during the week, fire the worker, the supervisor and manager all, thenthey will do their jobs too.  If we clearout for a few months, we will see a dramatic difference.  If the teacher does not reach 80% + pass ratein her class, the problem is not with the student, it is with the teacher.  We need to stop letting bad service andcorruption be our norm.  If we raise thestakes, people will go the extra mile in building a better, NEW SOUTH-AFRICAthat we can be proud off.  That is notlead by a leader who commit treason himself and cannot even read.     Mari Kleynhans – 0727004679 From: The Disco Pants Blog To: marikleynhans@yahoo.co.uk Sent: Thursday, 22 October 2015, 14:11 Subject: [New post] Why White South Africa Needs a PK* #yiv9987903825 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv9987903825 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv9987903825 a.yiv9987903825primaryactionlink:link, #yiv9987903825 a.yiv9987903825primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv9987903825 a.yiv9987903825primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv9987903825 a.yiv9987903825primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv9987903825 WordPress.com | susanhayden posted: “Yesterday was one of those days where you kind of wish social media had never been invented because, worse by far than the envy someone’s holiday in Prague inspires, it means you get to be exposed to the kind of ignorance you’d like to think doesn’t exist” | |

    1. Hello Marie |

      It seems your heart is in the right place so I will step up to perhaps assist you along your seemingly positive path | There is just one problem with your statement and that is:

      You have to acknowledge history in order to understand your present, otherwise where are we/you going ? | We are black people, named black by the white people…in an oppressive system lasting over 400+ years….and now, when it’s convenient you want us to not talk about it ? | Sorry, sister that is a wrong | A cruel joke….too soon | The key is to acknowledge your whiteness and the inherent inherited priviledge that comes with that openly, while making yourself an allie to those most oppressed by this system that was designed in white supremist capitalist minds | They, those with such interests would love for us to forget all that but we won’t, we can forgive but not forget | We are not blind | We are not colour blind | Our third eyes are open and the students are currently just reminding the black majority ANC government of that fact | That tells you It’s not a race thing, it’s a justice thing, a matter of consciousness | Spearheade by the majority black poor students, fact | So, suggest we wake up and be in those realities….the sooner the better | Now, if your down for the movement be down, fully – tell a friend to check their #WhitePriviledge and support #FeesMustFall accordingly | Peace

      BLK /// ;

      1. If you all Irish descendents equal opportunity with black descendents then I would believe that you actually were looking at history when you tried to get a free leg up. There are Irishman who managed to get rich and there are black men who managed to get rich, we need more people with hope and belief in themselves. The things that happen to a human’s brain when you do what bee etc had done to our youth is toxic.

        Entitlement will never breed strong hearts to lead our nation’s businesses and government. Find what you love and do it with all your heart, if they made that the requirement for opportunity we would be in a much better place today.

    2. While I totally agree with every thing that was written, than the first step should be for traffic cops to not ask our race and for Universities to remove the Quota system and admit students of every colour on merit.
      Student who fail more than once should not be allowed to repeat.

      Bursaries should be given to those who truly deserve them and not be cause of who they know.

      And students need to give it they all so that they can carry on the fight to keep the fees low and give the future students the same opportunities they are fighting for.

      One, s race should not come into play ever and that includes government butting out of our sports too, we seem to be the only country in the world where government pokes it’s nose into everything messes up our lives and than after the horse has left the stable they lock the door.

  2. Your last suggestion is the best. I love your work! Shame on the ignorant tossers. Driving to work this morning, saddened by all this, I wondered if you would respond. Thank you, thank you. x

  3. Well said. The voice of reason. Join me (middle aged, middle class white woman, with privileged student kids supporting the protesters.

  4. Thanks for writing this. I agree, I am so disheartened to see the comments that people (white) having been making about ‘them’ (black). South Africa’s only hope for improvement is for a population that is well-educated and the only way this will happen is if education is made much more affordable, if not free for some people.

  5. Oh… you’re just ridiculously awesome. Please can I keep you? You can be my Truth Teller. I’ll bring you to all the family dinner parties… and birthday parties… and you can poes-klap everyone while I hide under the table attempting to manage my fear-of-conflict. I wanna do this kinda passive-aggressive thing with your awesome words… maybe bind it all in a book… send it to all my very-very-privileged (and yet utterly oblivious) family members and friends – and when they read it (and break out in a predictable rash of indignant harrumphing)… I can meekly shrug and point the shaky finger of blame in your direction. I’m a conflict-fearing wuss… the kind of person who *THINKS* what YOU have the guts to say (or – in this case – write). Thank-you for saying what needs to be said. x

    1. I know exactly what you mean, Heather! I completely agree with everything Susan says (one of her best posts imo) and keep having these imaginary conversations rs where I articulate all this almost but(even in my dreams!) not quite as well as this but alas …. Not easy to PK one’s friends … !! Maybe I need new friends?!

  6. Thank you for providing a good laugh! – It was with concern that I saw the comments yesterday, and I am pleased to know that I was not alone. Pk’s all around!

  7. Wow, and the stereotypes from your side? Not everyone lives in Constantia and drives Mini-Coopers. Some people’s parents are going without things like electricity to put their kids through and those kids are being ‘’inconvenienced’’ and apparently they must shut up because, white privilege. What about the ones who aren’t white? Do they get to object to not being allowed to attend the lectures they have paid for? Or do they also get assaulted for thinking that they have paid handsomely and deserve to write their exams?

    Silver platters exist for very few people, of whatever colour. Many of us have taken on student loans and done it through places like UNISA (quite cheap!). What we have not done is demand that A/ the academic standards be lowered to the point where most of the courses are no longer internationally recognised (a disgrace) and skewed and skewed and reduced selectively, but now it must be extremely cheap if not free, even if, despite the drop in standards, you are doing really, really badly and don’t qualify for any sort of bursary, and in fact signed on the dotted line to pay those fees in the first place.

    Right then. Why stop there? Why not insist that all private schools, those nice ones in good areas I’m sure your kids go to, reduce all fees to negligible, bring in Peninsula School Feeding (for all the kids, so no one feels less-than) and bus in some of these maids children you are so desperate for us to feel ashamed over? I think that’s an awesome idea! Why stop there? You don’t need a really nice home, you are entitled and lazy. Go live somewhere poverty-stricken and stop taking advantage of your white privilege. Come on. Let’s have it. Go do the 24 hours in a shack.

    Have you lived in a shack in a township? Will your children ever suffer a moment’s hardship with few options to get out back to somewhere nice and Scandinavian? No? Then stop insulting those who disagree, who are, whatever their colour, far closer to the actual rock face and who dare to raise objections to the wholesale looting and carnage that’s going on. The behaviour is appalling and reprehensible. Excusing it is beyond that.

    Get in line for your klap then.

  8. I agree with some of the comments and some of what Caroline just wrote. Unfortunately, your blog is a bit of an over-simplification of white, rich and the poor. There are many many white on-the-bread-line and many below that line who are struggling and can not afford to send their kids to university and there are many white student waiters who work part-time to pay fees. My nephew works in his mom’s business, but paid his student loan back by almost depositing his whole salary each month to the loan, so he could finish it off asap. My son’s started out with a R200 000+ debt after their studies with their degrees and it is awful for young people to start out with a huge debt like that and it is for this reason, I support the protest, if done within boundaries, but it is not as simple as you say.
    I am told by my domestic and have read that many of the shacks owners, do in actual fact own houses, but they rent it out to ‘foreigners’ and go back to their shacks. Some falsify their ID’s and own a few houses and refuse to give up the shack because it is free and electricity is wired freely. No responsibility or accountability. Many of the those people work, as domestics or other jobs, then they still collect social grants. My domestic is 29yrs old and she has 4 kids, but unmarried and about to split from the current partner. My grandparents did not have degrees, but they did have common sense and kept their children sheltered with however little they had. We just work very hard to try and give our kids a better life. It’s a natural progression. Not overnight success and no entitlement demands, however hard. I certainly did and still do. But the students do have a point, because EVERYTHING in SA is expensive, not just education. Schools are expensive and I’ve had to fork out a lot for my sons in the southern suburbs schools. We pay more for a car than the cost of a home in other countries when you live there. Look at our property prices. Where do the youth start, when they have a huge student debt to begin with. Many single parents white and all the other communities, other than the Black people are struggling, but there is no entitlement. So not to sound contradictory, the students can have their say over high fees, after all everyone will benefit, but by the same token, if the standards are dropping to accommodate them, then that is of major concern. We have many problems here in SA and it is easy to look at the surface of shacks and compare it to Bishopscourt, but there is more to it than meets the eye. I have also been told, that by ratio and stats, there are now more elite very wealthy black people than whites. Food for thought. Still, I love my country and even if the grass looks greener on the other side, I am without doubt certain, it takes more manure.

  9. Susan, I have to say, while I agree with the reason for the protest, I disagree with the manner in which students have gone about bringing the government’s attention to their problems.

    They have lashed out at the general public for being unsympathetic to their cause, but it’s hard to find sympathy for people who break into buildings, steal food from the cantine, overturn private vehicles and rough up neutral journalists who are trying to bring attention to your issue. These acts do not further their cause at all, but make them look like barbarians looking for a hand out.

    I completely agree that better, cheaper education and jobs are the only way we are ever going to advance as a country in a sustainable way, but there are many ways of getting what you want and deserve, you don’t have to be violent or vandalise other people’s property.

  10. I was wanting to comment on your blog and say “well done!!” – what you say so well is so obvious, at least to me, To read the comment above was like a slap in the face! I am a very old PhD student (ie in years) and loving it, I am from the privileged few and live very well indeed, but even I am feeling that the fees are totally too high for what I get. I do at least have contact with the young students however, and have just spent a day at a seminar at Rhodes university with a very mixed group, and loved listening and talking to them all – finding out what they are doing, aiming at, dreaming about, hoping to achieve – they have the same aspirations as our admittedly privately schooled kids, and that we had at their age, they are just as talented and capable, BUT the cost is more than just money – it is sooo so high – bursaries do not pay for meals, clothes, living expenses, travelling home for holidays etc etc. full scholarships are few and far between. Bursaries are not even available if your parents cannot pass the means test to keep you clothed, fed, and housed, through University. The rabble that inevitably tags on to any protest gets all the attention by being violent and trashing things, they are NOT the students who most deserve to get their degrees and need help to do so. The rabble just cash in and perhaps are the ones who will never deserve to pass or not even students at all. Look beyond that – the poor genuine students are the ones being ripped off by the Government and by the rabble-rousers who are protesting violently – plus by people like those you quote and the one above who smugly sit pretty and decide that none of the students are worth supporting or being given a chance.

  11. Look, I’m all for the reasons for protest – I’ve been ripped off for the last few years – but some of the methods used have been dodgy at best.

    I’m talking about disrupting exams? WTF? These people have paid their fees, they’ve worked hard, they’ve done their time. WTF gives students the right to invade private property (WPCC in my case) and interrupt final year exams? Yeah – education for all, but only when they say so? Utter BS.

    Sure, it’s non-racial, except on those occasions when it became racial (Newlands, yesterday, for example).
    It’s non violent, if you ignore the criminal damage, the trespass, and the spitting and abuse directed at students (again, Newlands yesterday).

    And yet you overlook all of the negatives in this. You ignore them.

    I’d love a holiday. Or a flight. I went to Plett when I was 14 and it was great. I haven’t been away since. I spend my vakansies working. My parents don’t have money to sponsor my degree. They don’t even have a car, let alone me having a Mini Cooper. Your post may have some very good and very amusing points which apply very accurately to some individuals, but it conveniently overlooks the rest of us, caught in the middle and trying desperately to just get through after 3.9 years of sheer hard work.

    I’ve taken a loan and now I need a job to pay it back. Without doing well in my exams, that’s not going to happen. My fault for taking the gamble that I might be able to work through the SA education system and be able to earn some money? Maybe, but how else was I going to try to better myself?

    So sure, Ms DiscoPantsBlog – take the piss out of those who deserve it, but don’t go tarring us all with the same brush. And don’t go thinking that every protester (whatever colour) is as pure as the driven snow.

    The real world doesn’t work that way.

  12. Hi! LOVE your “klaps”! I’m a white woman. Not so young any more and still studying. I didn’t consider myself as privileged – for many years. I grew up very poor and with a lot of troubles at home. Moved a lot. A few scraps of clothes at times. I thought: the other kids/students (white) were rich, sporty, brainy, beautiful and lucky. Yes, they were hardworking too and got good grades. Me, I was challenged.

    My point is: even if I was not AS privileged as other white people in SA, I still am.

    I helped with and organized about 60 youth camps when I was younger. Some of it extremely primitive – like fetching water; washing in a basin; using a longdrop (what we built ourselves); eating pap & vleis; working at candlelight; washing our clothes by hand; riding on the back of a lorry every day; washing dishes with lukewarm water; running out of toiletpaper and so forth. But then…after a few weeks I came back. Yes, to a small apartment; no car; fairly nice, safe neighbourhoods and closeby shops. These camping trips gave me just a glimpse of what some people have their whole lives.

    My point still is: even if I had a bad, primitive camping trip, I do not understand how it must be to LIVE with the minimum – every morning; high summer; in wet, cold winters; Christmas; Easter; every year; every minute…

    But today, I’m busy with my PhD. HOW? Because it is about resources. It is to be able to get to the needed resources in safety; explore resources in a certain amount of time and use resources in a certain amount of comfort (silence; desk; computer; healthy food and drink; supportive familymembers; dry/cool place to work/study).

    My point is: even if I’m not that brilliant/rich/young or whatever, I COULD follow my ambition – just because I’m privileged enough to be able to arrange my life around resources, to study. Yes, I had a battle to pay my studyfees this year, almost had to give it up. But then, again, I was able to plead; beg; convince the university to continue. Because I have the resources to communicate.

    A lot of people don’t have the insight in matters. And that’s why I strongly believe in this quote: “If you can’t help them, don’t hurt them.’ At least: Don’t be hurtful with your words/comments on social media.

    1. Helene, thank you for a measured response amongst all the madness. Like you, I am studying at an advanced age and also work in a university. We have resources that others will never have access to, as you mention. And we should be aware of this and not fall into debates of ‘us’ and ‘them’.

  13. Reblogged this on buddhaonaboat and commented:
    Well said. Now line up for your poesklap everyone! Reminds me of the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon where Calvin is selling “A swift kick up the butt”. Business is going really badly, so Calvin says to Hobbes, “I can’t understand it, everyone I know needs what I’m selling!”

  14. I really got a lot out of this article and feel terribly sad for those who have undertaken tertiary study without:

    (a) stable pricing for the duration of the course, disclosed upfront; and
    (b) reasonable funding options to allow these students to complete courses which will be of benefit to both the government through higher tax revenues in the future and the students themselves.

    PK to you for making a snide comment about Perth. In the fine country of Australia, where egalitarianism is at least paid lip-service, there are mechanisms to allow ALL capable students access to tertiary education.

    For example ,the government provides low interest lows for tertiary education fees, see

    This arguably MAKES the government money as successfully completing a tertiary education course is strongly correlated with higher lifetime earnings and therefore higher tax take by the government. You also have to pay the government back, with the interest rate set at the inflation rate which roughly correlates with the governments cost of capital right now.

    Private sector funding of this market in the USA has led to further exploitation of vulnerable young people through high interest rates which amount to usury.

    To overcome inequality urgent government action is needed to assist tertiary students with the upfront cost of their education which can be recouped later on.

    RSA government invest in your people. That way the pie will be larger for everyone regardless of how it is divided up among its citizens….

  15. 1) Some privileged white South Africans are blinkered idiots? Check

    2) The new fees are ridiculous? Check

    3) The ANC govt. should be taking responsibility in a positive way for the current situation? Check

    4) Should people be taking advantage of the situation and wrecking public property, intimidating innocent bystanders and other students who choose not to protest? UNcheck

    5) Are there previously disadvantaged population groups in SA that took the Apartheid lemon and made lemonade with it? Check.

    Generally speaking, I side with the students on this one, but they need to be a bit more creative in making their voices heard.

  16. I believe the focus here should be on the government for stealing trillions. Money thst could go towards free education for all. The etoll scam could have paid for free tertiary education for all these protesters plus the roads. They chose to spend the money on kiosks and other nonsense.

    If you want to make it a white vs black thing then we can never get rid of government as the ANC love to divide and rule.

    Focus on #ANCMustFall

  17. Your article is pretty poor – offensive and clearly immature. One cannot simply lump all white people into your pre-conceived genres – many if not most white students these days have their own student loans which they need to pay off – and most support their studies with evening work. Immaturity, over-simplification and broad-based generalization and stigmatization are hallmarks of someone who lacks an open mind, is poorly educated in real world matters and certainly playing to ones supporters. Unfortunately, I’m not going to hold your hand whilst singing kumbaya around a camp fire.

    1. @Mike,
      Read the article again. Every single social media comment addressed displays “Immaturity, over-simplification and broad-based generalization and stigmatization.” And they certainly are “hallmarks of someone who lacks an open mind, is poorly educated in real world matters and certainly playing to ones supporters.” Or, in other words, hallmarks of somebody very deserving of a PK.

    2. My children were privileged to go to university in New Zealand. They have massive student loans. They have both worked during their holidays to earn money for living costs during the year. I, as a widowed mother, have given them all I could financially. Tertiary education does not come cheap, and it isn’t a “right”. Had they been ‘indigenous’ people not only would the entry criteria have been lower, but the opportunities for scholarships and grants would have been greater. Stop banging on about the disadvantaged. Your life is what you make of it.

  18. I somer want to feed you, and drink wine with you, and braai with you! You are soooo my kind of person! Absolutely love your work! You are a GREAT SOUTH AFRICAN and fuck what everybody else says…you have way more people loving your work than haters…to the haters – if the shoe fits, wear it bitches!

  19. I am a Brit recently moved to SA – we will be here for a couple of years. It is a fascinating country but as an outsider looking in, there are so many layers of complexities and recent history hangs heavily over everything. Thank you for writing what you have but also to all the commenters – it helps me get a feel for what is going on here in a way that reading the news reports haven’t. I can see it is a complex situation, I am sure I wont really understand it in the short time we are here. But it certainly helps me understand just a little bit.

    1. Most people who were born in South Africa and have lived here all our lives, still do not grasp all the complexities. Also, there are many differing views, and solution opinions, among the citizens of our crazy, wonderful country. I hope that when you eventually leave, your overall views of SA are more positive than not :)

  20. I wonder which polictical party all of these devoted, education hungry, young students voted for? Because voting for change makes real change possible! Unfortunatelty, it’s not possible and only ‘they’ know why. There is more than enough money generated by the country to help with all sorts of issues – including education. The problem is that vast amounts of that money is being stolen. I’m only adding the following because you mentioned colour – but the money that would go along way to helping these students is being stolen by people of the same colour. Hence the reason for increased tuition fees! Vicious circle or what?! But I wonder who they’ll vote for next time?

    People are entitled to voice their own opionions on how events effect their own lives. You’d do well to climb down from your high horse for a minute and realise that the people who may or may not own mini coopers are adding their fare share to the tax coffers that CAN actually help these students. If only that money was managed properly hey? If only!

  21. I totally agree with what the students (not the black students or the white students – just the freaking students are doing). Us, the youth, and yes I am a part of it even though I am a white, the youth of this country are totally screwed. We have no working opportunities, things like apprenticeships which used to be handed out by the hundreds by big companies are far nd few between, jobs require experience of which you can’t get without actually having a job, and then to study – let alone at university, even at college – is a pipe dream for most of us. I totally support this protest. We deserve to be able to afford education so we can actually build successful lives, provide at the least for ourselves and our families.
    The only thing I don’t agree with it this sick, twisted comparison about who is more privileged Yes, it’s a fact that most of the black population do live in townships, in shacks that barely provide shelter and where sanitation and water are useless. But why is it an accepted concept that every white person in the country is living is a mansion and doesn’t have to work hard and struggle to just feed themselves? My parents put me through school, fantastic, my dad worked his asshole off to earn a salary to do that. College, university? Not an option. No ways. I have many friends, black and white who did do it though. One in particular with rich parents who sent her to study medicine, yes, a black girl. Then I have just as many friends black and white, who like me, did not have the privilege or luxury or whatever it is to be called to further our education. We finished school and it ended there. Now it’s time to use your useless matric and beg left, right and centre for a place willing to give you a chance and give you employment so that you can possibly provide for your family.
    I hope the students win their protest and the fees are lowered…but for all of us who know furthering our education isn’t even an option, where’s our relief? Paying your own way isn’t an option when you don’t even earn enough to put food on the table… Bursaries, student loans? They’re not such available options anymore either. This whole country needs to change its attitude towards the youth, help us further our educations, give us a chance to prove ourselves in employment. Let us actually build a future. We are the future. And it’s crumbling fast.

  22. while I understand the protest over higher fees, what I don’t agree with is the damage and destruction being done. How do you justify smashing up and destroying a business on the UCT grounds? You can’t. protest by all means, but have some respect, as you wish to receive yourselves

  23. Online universities completely free please. As soon as possible. In the mean time don’t raise any fees. ANC MUST fall and please stop with the racist white privilege and black victim bullshit. So over that.

  24. Are you freaking kidding me? You (and your avid supporters) need several PKs.

    1. Blame the ANC for the situation, and get them to spend money on your education – you did, after all, vote for them when they promised FREE education.
    2. During the apartheid era, whites didn’t (and still don’t) protest about increased education fees – they put on their big girl panties and sucked it up.
    3. I couldn’t afford higher education. And neither could many a white South African. However, we didn’t take to the streets.
    4. Apartheid has been over for 20 years, so stop pulling the race card – it’s just sad and pathetic.
    5. Are you aware of the fact that there are white townships?
    6. How much do you pay your poor impoverished maid?

    Stop pretending to be liberal and politically correct, or should I say fake?

  25. Stop blaming whites for everything, we have been paying our dues for a very long time:


    Also from that article you can see that you should focus your attention on the ANC who is wasting money that is suppose to help people in poverty.

    I also couldn’t afford to study at a resident uni, so I studied through unisa while working.

    It will also help if people who can’t afford to send their children to uni doesn’t have children. That goes for blacks and whites in squatter camps

  26. It’s coming,and for a group of people that see themselves as superior and forward thinkers…the blindness to the inevitable is shocking……it’s coming….. James.. Please tell the white farmers that had farms taken from them in Zimbabwe,it’s over 15 years they must get over it

    1. Frankie… my white Zimbabwean family who lost their farms 15 years ago are now living and farming for the Zambian government who appreciate their skills. They’ve moved on!

  27. You’ve articulated exactly how I’ve been feeling this past week, well done for your insight and thoughtfulness. The most moving moment to me was when white students protected black students at Rondebosch police station with their arms clasped above their heads to show they were unarmed, it happen again around Parliament. It shows that the young get it and it gives me tremendous hope that we will be able to build a future for all SA’s working together. Though of course what it says about the SAPS willing to apply violence to black students but not white is another matter.

  28. Although I agree that some of the statements you make fun of are inappropriate and show a complete lack of understanding it is also not acceptable that UCT exams have been postponed by at least 2 weeks now because of the actions of a group of students, no matter how important the cause. I agree that the issue of education is crucial to SA’s future but it isn’t a simple one and definitely won’t be solved overnight. Using bullying tactics which infringe on other students’ rights because the protesters deem their cause more worthy should also be criticised. In that sense your post is extremely one-sided and naive.

  29. Because I lived in SA for the first half of my life, I revel joyously in your slang. (Come here for your klap!) I love living in the USA but assure you that we have as many, percentage-wise, sjoepit people as you do in our motherland. Only, I’d call them racists. Keep writing!

  30. Im white, so I suppose YOU would stereotype me as privelaged , deserving of P.K. and all the rest of your rhetoric. The point is,I am a law abiding citizen of this country who contributes to the economy and pays a ridiculous amount of tax to a government who does what ?
    I am privelaged to have a job, I am privelaged to have a place to stay, I am privelaged to be able to take out a LOAN to pay for my child’s tertiary education.
    What more do you want me , as a white person to do? Give up my lodging , job and move out of the country ? That would not solve the problem…….

  31. I have been thinking about this article given what’s been happening at SA universities over the last 4 weeks and was wondering whether you would change the article if you had to write it now. I’m pretty sure you would feel differently if one of your children were directly affected (but maybe not).

    1. Hi Gerhard, yes, I have been thinking a lot about what’s been happening of late and you are right, my views have changed, as I think they have for many of us who started out supporting this movement which lately, to my mind, has become a somewhat different thing. I must write an update. Thanks for reading me and for your comment!

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