Thursday, March 11, 2010

I’m not a politician, but a victim

Sinazo Tshingana

Before coming to Pretoria I had these beautiful visions about university and what it is supposed to be. I completed my application, went to write admission tests, did interviews and was accepted by the journalism department at the Tshwane University of Technology.

The December holidays then became a bit too slow as I could not wait to leave the town and move to the big city.

When I arrived in Soshanguve ,I then found temporary residence in the Soshanguve North campus of TUT. At first everything seemed to run smoothly and then I found something I am not used to in my small town – student riots.

The way it started was reminiscent of the riots that took place in 1976, not that I was there. Everything was fine and then one evening I heard some noises around Alex Park.

I’m a student journalist and so naturally I am a nosy person. I went there to see what was happening and then a scene from a movie about apartheid is South Africa was playing out – at least it seemed like it. I found a group of students singing political songs at the top of their voices.

At first I enjoyed listening to the singing. I didn’t understand what it was and the reasons for it. Then it all became dramatic. The singing just changed and it became a bit violent. That is when I realised there was something more to this and I could not listen to it anymore. I ran back to my residence where I thought I could find shelter.

The days went on. They became violent and I ran like a headless chicken whenever they came to our campus. I was scared now.

The lectures and all orientation programmes came to a halt as the rioters started burning car tyres all over campus. They also started littering, kicking rubbish bins and made sure that no one dared to say anything to them as they were waving big sticks around.

The police came to normalise the situation but they too failed. Then one Saturday we were chased out of campus. I had nowhere to go. University wasn’t so cool anymore.

When they protested, I didn’t march along. When they shouted “M’Afrika!”, I didn’t say “Izwe-Lethu”, when they became violent, I ran for my life. But when the campus management opened a case against them I was affected. All I wanted was a higher education.

I am not a politician, but a victim.


  1. i like the article. Shows how much of developing country we claim to be. Whoever wrote this, I'm sure has opened management's eyes as to the safety assurance of the innocent. Let them not suffer for the wrong-doings of others

  2. good thing you knew what you wanted,coz you could have followed the mob and then... but bieng a victim the should be something that you learned that you should share with us all.but as all of us know violence does'nt SOMETIMES solve the problem and still they continue to say iAfrica,iZWE-LETHU...

  3. Wow, Sinazo this is something man!!