‘My South Africa’, the iconic address made by Prof. Johnathan Jansen which went viral in 2014, has once again taken over South African cyberspace. The address which tugged at heartstrings of many South Africans in the aftermath of the xenophobic attacks of 2015 has resurfaced after the unfolding of the complex and chaotic Clifton Beach controversy.
After ANC member Faiez Jacobs and groups of people were chased off Clifton beach, angry residents and political leaders took the beach in protest, alleging that the clearing of the beach was racially motivated.
Briefly.co.za reported that the protesters slaughtered sheep as part of a traditional ritual, protestors which resulted in charges of animal cruelty being laid against them.
The incident has stirred up feelings of anger and resentment which has resulted in many provocative discussions and arguments taking place on social media.
In light of this, Prof. Jansen’s address has provided a hopeful and positive message reminding south Africans of our progress and humanity. The address is a heart-warming collection of moments which depict the strong character of South African people, young and old, black and white, man and woman alike.
In the address, Prof. Jansen notes that it is the honest, hard-working and strong people of South Africa that make the country what it is: the working-class man who went the extra mile to return a lost wallet, the university student who donates gifts to those who need it and the black street children who give their spare change to the white man begging on the side of the road.
Prof. Jansen is a beloved as respected South African thinker. He is the rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS).
Prof. Jansen also added to the Clifton Beach discussion, sharing his views on the issue. After the anger incited by the slaughtering of the sheep, Prof. Jansen said to SApeople.com, “this had nothing to do with anyone’s culture or custom…. Sadly, inequality and racism will continue once the spectacle has been performed. Our strategies for change must be smarter, deeper and more enduring than these occasional bouts of anger performed while parliament is in recess.”
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