South Africa under President Jacob Zuma is going to sink like the Titanic, but Zuma and his cronies are going to survive while the poor will perish.

They have built their own Noah’s Ark which will become their home after they have looted South Africa’s resources.

This was how PAC stalwart and academic Professor Sipho Shabalala described the current state of the nation during the renaming ceremony of Pela Street to Zephania Mothopeng Street on Saturday.

The street naming was organised by the City of Joburg. Councillor Nonhlanhla Sifumba laid a wreath in honour of Mothopeng.

The street naming on Saturday was in honour of his contribution to the liberation struggle in South Africa, including twice being jailed on Robben Island, and again in 1978 for his leadership role in the 1976 student struggle against Bantu Education. He was sentenced to 30 years in jail.

Mothopeng’s daughter-in-law, Ellen Mothopeng, described how the apartheid regime kept his father-in-law chained in his own home, denying him the right to attend his one and only daughter’s wedding in Soweto.

“Ousi Sheila got married to Mike Masote. They had a big wedding. The celebrations were dampened by the fact that Uncle Zeph was under house arrest and could not participate in the wedding of his only daughter.

“He had to sit in his bedroom and watch the happenings of the day through the window,” Ellen said.

Shabalala commented on the state of affairs in the country, particularly the ongoing #FeesMustFall protests.

Echoing his support for the protests, Shabalala said the students’ protests are struggles against hunger, poverty and inequality and they were using their university platforms to express the hardships suffered by their own families at home.

He said society must accept that the so-called service delivery protests and student protests as “movements against inequality, social structural injustice and lack of means for decent living by the majority of people in the country”.

Shabalala said the protests were a quest by a people for a “state and government cleansed of predatory behaviour and rampant corruption; a state with capacity to formulate and implement policies ensuring development effectiveness; social equity and protections of citizens.

“A state enjoying embedded autonomy.

“The fees must fall protests are not new. Back then, in 1952, the then-Transvaal African Teachers Association (Tata) under Mothopeng declared that there must be universal right to free education.

“They maximise their personal (private) political and economic returns at the expense of social returns for the benefit of all members of the nation and citizenry.

“The black elite are building their own Noah’s ship which will keep them floating when the rest of the people will be drowning in poverty and violence. “We are informed that during the Titanic disaster first-class passengers who were on the top deck were the ones who mostly survived the disaster because they were the first to get the announcement and lifeboats were nearer to them.

“It would appear the same will be experienced in this country when we approach our social cataclysmic apocalypse,” Shabalala said.

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