Daniel Friedman
3 minute read
8 Oct 2018
10:09 am

‘So-called coloured’ protesters target Gauteng premier, JSE with Blood Friday shutdown

Daniel Friedman

A group is rising up against what they see as purposeful exclusion from the economy.

The Ennerdale community is protesting "in solidarity with Westbury". Photo: @LiberalsAreNaiv

An organisation representing the voices of South Africa’s so-called coloured community will be organising a nationwide shutdown they are calling Blood Friday on Friday, which will be preceded by a protest at the JSE on Tuesday.

A group calling themselves the Gauteng Shut-Down Co-ordinating Committee (GSCC) say they want a “respectable response” from President Cyril Ramaphosa and his cabinet regarding what they believe is the targeted economic exclusion of their people.

Blood Friday will see a “massive March to the Gauteng Legislature and premier David Makhura’s office,” where a letter of demand will be handed over.

Anthony Phillip Williams, one of the driving forces behind the GSCC, says the upcoming shutdown is linked to the angry protests in Westbury in the past weeks. A statement from the organisation ends by saying that the death of Heather Peterson was “not in vain.”

The death of Peterson, who was shot nine times after being caught in the crossfire of a gun battle between two alleged drug dealers, is widely believed to have sparked the protests in Westbury.

READ MORE: Arrest of eight dangerous Westbury criminals lauded

But it is also “linked to long overdue engagement with the provincial and national government,” which he accuses of “ignoring calls for meaningful participation in the economy.”

The protests we are seeing, he says, are “a manifestation of social and economic exclusion,” an exclusion that he believes has led to gangsterism and drugs in so-called coloured communities.

Williams believes his people “have been consciously left out of the economy by design,” and they are taking their fight to the JSE.

“We will now make sure that we come for the economic powerhouses including the JSE,” he said, adding that an official letter of notice demanding economic inclusion will be delivered, after which the JSE will be given seven days to respond, failing which Williams says the GSCC plans to “cut the economic blood flow of the country” and “punish the big companies”.

The GSCC, Williams says, are not affiliated to any political parties or movements.

READ MORE: Eight most wanted suspects arrested in Westbury

“This is the people liberating themselves. No parties, no organisations, we are not linked to any of these guys.”

This includes Save SA, which Williams says is run by people “sitting with economic power,” using their protests as “political smoke screens” and “using the people”.

“This movement is saying the economic blood flow is flowing the wrong way. We are redirecting it now.”

The GSCC and Williams reject the term coloured, with Williams saying that his people have been “wrongly identified that way”.

Rather, Williams says they are the “children of the first nation of this country”.

“We need to have the opportunity for our kids to discuss who they are. They’ve been paraded under a false identity,” he says.

“In 1991, the Population Registration Act was abolished,” says Williams, adding that he believes the term ‘coloured’ should have ended with it. “We reject colonial identification,” he adds.

He accuses the ANC of developing “a new plan of racial categorisation that perpetuates racism”.

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