What’s more important in a protest: protecting property or listening to people’s lived experiences?

South Africa has experienced a spate of protests in the first three months of 2023. There were major disruptions to essential services and those protesting say that their human rights were violated on many fronts. Those affected by these protests felt the same.

Nehawu members blocked entrances to hospitals, the health department lambasted against this saying this caused death and had serious ramifications on those who needed help. Wits University students protested and even went to Wits University vice chancellor Zeblon Vilakazi’s house demanding action against issues surrounding fees and accommodation.

The life of the VC was put at risk and the patients who needed help from nurses and doctors were also being placed at risk, but equally were the lives and the demands of those protesting not as important?

By: Tshidi Madia

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