Is SA headed for a protracted, race-based civil war?
Ongoing stand-offs between the EFF and white right wing point to a worrying scenario that is gaining traction
The allegations of racism at Cape Town’s Brackenfell High School recently and the violence which flared during a protest march against it by the EFF is only a more dramatic manifestation of SA’s most notorious historical malady. The important difference, however, between the events in Brackenfell and the fierce stand-off in Senekal a few weeks ago between supporters of the party and disgruntled white farmers after one was killed is that the former was in an urban area and the latter in a rural area.
This is an important difference because it is in urban areas, due to their much bigger population concentrations and greater resources, where heated events, such as happened in Brackenfell, can quickly escalate into large-scale violence. And indeed, we saw how quickly a group of white residents opposed to the protest outside the school pitched up and were aggressively armed for a confrontation they clearly wanted with the EFF.
If there was not a huge police presence preventing physical confrontation between the EFF and white protesters in both areas there would have been much bloodshed on both sides. But the vicious physical violence inflicted by some white people against EFF supporters who marched on the school, and whose constitutional right to do so is clear, was possibly the most provocative scene of probably white right-wing violence we have seen in many years. ..