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#AntiZumaMarches: Spectators vs Protesters

Special Features

Cape Town – Protests are indeed interesting, and this anti-Zuma march was no different.

Not only did the impassioned speeches and chants, the creative placards and the feeling of unity make a huge impression, but the gawking spectators also stood out.

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Picture: Kennedy Mudzuli/Pretoria News

While there were thousands of protesters, there were also a large number of people just watching - as if they were viewing the latest episode of their favourite television show.

Sadly, this is the reality in South Africa, which is made up of a diverse mix of people. They want to join the crowd, but don't know how. They want to vocalise their thoughts but don't know what to say.

When some protesters were asked why they were participating in the march, they answered with an uncertain 'Why am I here? I'm here because...' then trailing off to give a vague answer such as 'to support the crowd'.

There is nothing wrong with watching a protest. What was alarming though, was the number of people taking selfies with the protesters, with the placards or talking quietly among themselves.

What was so alarming about it was that they were there but they did not really have a purpose. There was no rallying cause. 

It seemed to be fashion for the spectators rather than a passion.

What will happen in the next election? Will we have thousands of people voting but still asking "Why am I here?" Will a vote be made out of uncertainty?

When a party is voted in power, will there be as many people wondering 'How did we get here?'

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