South Africa: Social media users of all races, religions, and political leanings gather to discuss COVID-19. Plenty of them reacted to the announcement that schools reopen and that fifty faithful may attend their church. Religion and race set Twitter on fire at the moment.
South Africa: COVID-19 sees people of all types going head-to-head over race and religion.
Lots of the conflict arises from decisions and arguments that seem nonsensical. The 1st of June when the country moves to level 3 brings many opinions and questions. Firstly, which fifty faithful may be admitted to a church gathering? And, who decides? The richest 50 Faithful to ensure the continuance of good living by pastors?
Common knowledge dictates that Marxists don’t subscribe to religion. Recall, “The EFF “draws inspiration from the broad Marxist–Leninist tradition and Fanonian schools of thought in their analyses of the state, imperialism, culture and class contradictions in every society,” according to its constitution. So presumably, Mr Ndlozi of the EFF need not worry about religious meetings and his own health risk.
However, he posed the question on Twitter about who gets into the church services during South Africa’s COVID-19 Level 3. Notably, it seems a reasonable question. And, that’s a new direction for him, considering his last post about race.
COVID-19 deaths split along racial lines
In another post on Twitter, Mr Ndlozi demanded that COVID-19 deaths get split along racial lines. In fact, the inference shows he accused white South African people of not caring about black people dying from the pandemic. This smacks of presumptuous and brilliant politicking, even if poached from USA’s cavalier attitude to ALL of its people where deaths have been racially listed.
Black Americans are dying. Not because they are black but because they struggle financially. Admittedly, that presents an indictment on the USA. And undeniably, South African blacks represent most of the nation’s poor people. This problem can be laid at the feet of both the Apartheid and ANC governments.
COVID-19, Mr Ndlozi, is indiscriminate. It cares neither who it kills and certainly cares nothing the colour of skin. The author of this piece only knows two people who died from the virus in South Africa. Notably, both of them were born white. Neither one travelled out of the borders of South Africa. Both sat in the middle-income group and both attended Church before lockdown.
Agreed, poor people face more risk as working from home’s not an option. And driving themselves to work remains a luxury beyond reach. Agreed, many middle-class people are privileged enough to earn from home. But to insist that white people are silent because they don’t care seems inflammatory. Every life lost to this disease is a tragedy. South Africans are all in this together.
So many debates set social media on fire in South Africa
Mr Ndlozi, whether we like it or not, a quick cellphone call to COVID -19 for purposes of remonstration remains an impossibility. So, many people turn to their faith for hope. To church or not to church; that is the question? If one is a good and faithful parishioner, then surely one fears neither the virus nor the resulting death? Is religion an essential service? Should Pastors be offered financial relief by the state? It seems that the request got posed to President Ramaphosa by some church leaders from KZN.
Perhaps the President decided this was one petition too many for him to deal with and caved. Presumably, he forgot that one of the viral epicentres in South Africa spread from a religious gathering.
Whatever the reason behind the announcement, it raised a storm on Twitter and other social media pages. Everyone seems to have an opinion on this matter. Meanwhile, need a quick business meeting? Go to church with your work colleagues.
What do you think about the churches opening in level 3? And, are you becoming alarmed at the racial politicking that seems rampant as COVID-19 in South Africa starts gathering pace in the country? Sound off in the comments below.
Remember to check back with SAns Newsfeed often for more opinions, news and information about South Africa during COVID-19.