Reformed racist to walk with Afrikaans pastor to raise money for students
Luvuyo Menziwa joins group of students and professionals for a 20-day walk to raise R80m
As SA observed Human Rights Day on Thursday, a group of students and professionals embarked on a walk from Cape Town to Pretoria to raise funds for university students who have been financially excluded.
#Walk4access organisers said their aim was to raise about R80m during the 20-day walk from March 21 to April 10.
One of the walkers is “reformed racist” Luvuyo Menziwa, a former EFF student representative council member at the University of Pretoria who was dragged to the Equality Court for hate speech over a racist comment he posted on Facebook. The 2016 post, which cost him his SRC position, read: “Reasons I hate white people: white privilege, white dominance, white arrogance, white monopoly capital and white superiority. Fuck white people, just get me a bazooka or AK47 so I can do the right thing and kill these demon possed [sic] humans.”
The Equality Court ruled it to be hate speech and ordered him to apologise and do community work in a white squatter camp, which he said changed his perspective on poverty.
Menziwa told Times Select the group chose to start their walk on Human Rights Day because education was a basic human right enshrined in the constitution.
“We felt that it is significant to rather start the walk on Human Rights Day to allow for the right to education to be discussed at length, using the walkers as reference to the extreme lengths students have to go to, only to have access to the education we have been promised,” Menziwa explained.
He said if one million South Africans pledged R2 for each day of the walk, the group could raise R80m.
Another walker is Pastor Immanuel Landman, of Elim Full Gospel Church in Pretoria, which is next to the university and is very involved in student issues.
“During the Fees Must Fall protests the church hall was used to hold meetings,” Landman said. Over the past three to four years the church allowed its hall to be used by students who had been accepted at university but had no accommodation.
“They use the hall temporarily while they try to find permanent accommodation because the hall itself is not quite conducive for students to stay in,” he said.
Landman said that with the walk he hoped to show students that they did not have to wait for politicians to come up with solutions to their problems.
He said student debt was a huge problem that hindered students from receiving their qualifications.
Their walk is endorsed by the University of Pretoria and they received a R5,600 donation from vice-chancellor Tawana Kupe. “This is a great motivation and we hope more South Africans will also donate to the cause so that we can help more students,” he said. Landman said the funds raised would be audited and the allocation of funds would carefully managed, focusing on disadvantaged students, those who needed accommodation, National Student Financial Aid Scheme-rejected students, and historically indebted students.