OPINION: We need to build, not destroy, if South Africa is to survive

How long are the police, the government and society in general, going to allow terrorists to threaten our lives and livelihoods?

The use of the word “terrorist” is correct, as anyone threatening the lives of other innocent people should their demands not be met is most certainly committing an act of terror.

Following the advertisement by Clicks depicting four different hair conditions, many people took exception and expressed anger that it was black people’s hair that presented two of the three problem hair-types.

Perhaps the advert was insensitive toward black women specifically. Yet problems with hair are a real issue to all races as evidenced by the number of hair products, wigs and weaves on the supermarket shelves and other outlets in South Africa.

Clicks immediately responded to the criticism and anger by issuing an apology and also closed all its stores nationwide for the whole of Wednesday, September 9. Be that as it may, Julius Malema, the “commander-in-chief” of the EFF told his party followers to “attack” and close all Clicks stores. His Tweet regarding attacking Click stores was subsequently deleted.

But it seems that some EFF members took their leader’s words to heart and even went to the Uitenhage Hospital where a Clicks outlet that serves the needs of the hospital’s patients remained open inside the hospital.

How is that Malema has not condemned this action? Why have the police not stepped in? How can people threaten the lives of patients in a hospital without any condemnation and action taken against them? Where is the government in this matter? By remaining silent, as the government seems to do on a regular basis when it comes to the EFF and their violent behaviour, are they tacitly condoning the actions of these terrorists?

It is time for us to stop burning, looting and destroying in an attempt to draw attention to problems, both real and perceived. We need to build our country, specifically at a time when our economy is suffering so badly and almost half of the population is unemployed. Investors aren’t about to pump money into our economy if there is a chance that their investment will be destroyed. It is clear that South Africa by itself cannot revitalise the economy, we need external investment.

It is time to end the talk and kowtowing to minorities who have their own political agendas and to apply the rule of law. That is one of the major problems, that the laws to protect people are in place, just that they are not equally applied.

If the objective of the EFF, or any party, is to create employment and have a more equal society they are going about it in entirely the wrong way.

The EFF’s Floyd Shavabu, when asked about the jobs that could be lost by his party’s actions, actually called such workers “unfortunate collateral”. So much for full employment.

Proposed acts of terrorism cannot be the way forward for South Africa and the perpetrators should be behind bars where they can threaten no one.

Police and government, do your jobs or the country will descend into chaos just as Zimbabwe has done. Is that where we really want to end up?

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