In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, there is considerable civil unrest. Across the US, black people have resigned any semblance of affability in the name of many black lives lost, and they are calling on non-black citizens to do the same with the revival of the 2016 #blacklivesmatter hashtag.
This same agitation at the systematic brutalization of black bodies is not alien to South Africa, and the SA population has recognized this with the #justiceforcollinskhosa hashtag. Following the acquittal of those involved in the Collins Khosa case, #blacklivesmatter has become a mirror of sorts, being held up to similar local instances of police and military violence.
While recognition is important, it is also essential to know tangible and effective ways to aid in hopefully minimizing the loss of black lives.
3 Ways to Take the Conversation Further than Your Feed
1.SIGN THE PETITION
This Change.org petition is the largest on this issue to our knowledge, addressed to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Parliament of South Africa. Creator, Santhea Sinivasan, says “Collins Khosa is one of several South African citizens that have unlawfully died at the hands of our law enforcement. Thus, by extension, this petition stands for the justice of Petrus Miggels from Ravensmead, Adane Emmanuel from Isipingo, Sibusiso Amos from Voslooros and many others.”
2. LODGE AN OFFICIAL COMPLAINT
There are multiple ways to lodge a complaint and put pressure on these organizations and their regulating bodies.
CALL: SAPS COMPLAINTS: 0800 333 177 /
INDEPENDENT POLICE INVESTIGATIVE DIRECTORATE (IPID): 012 399 0000
TAG ON SOCIAL MEDIA: South African Police Service (@SAPoliceService) / South African National Defense Force (@SANDFCorpEvents) / SA Military Ombud (@Mil_OmbudSA) / Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) (@IPID_ZA) / South African Government (@GovernmentZA)
See below for email formats if you are not sure how to go about it:
3. KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING
Make noise! Actively follow news updates. Continue to share information and keep the conversation going in person and in your social groups not just with your followers or on your feed. Keep your eyes and ears open to join the movement where you can.
This is a harrowing period that requires a large amount of reflection on our part as people in South Africa. We need to assess the roles we play in allowing some systems to continue functioning at the expense of specific demographics. We need to observe the ways we can help every day, even if it is in the mundane unnoticeable everyday interactions we have with black bodies. Although the fight to validate black lives in the eyes of the law is one that will possibly span across some of our lifetimes, it is important to do what we can and the above is the start we need.
Words: Rufaro Chiswo and Zoya Pon
Feature art , How Black Trauma benefits Capitalism, by Misa River