December 6, 2020

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Brackenfell: White EFF member explains his reasons for protesting

2 min read

Amid the ugly scenes that have marred the streets of Brackenfell in the past couple of weeks, the need for dialogue and peaceful resolutions has never been greater. That’s probably why Jack Markowitz has become something of a viral star on Friday, after the white EFF member passionately made his case in support of the protests.

How many white South Africans support the EFF?

The Cape Town-born activist has been an EFF member since he turned 18. Markowitz is something of a rarity for the Red Berets: A 2019 poll estimated that the party has approximately 11 000 white voters in the country – but the Brackenfell resident is rock-steady in the courage of his convictions.

Speaking to the media this morning, Markowitz said he was attending the protests outside of Brackenfell High School ‘to have a confrontation’ with the wider white population in South Africa.

“The racism is instilled in the bones of people in Brackenfell, as it is across South Africa, but it’s more open here. I went to a private school here. We saw racism everywhere, there were white-only parties across the parties. Things have gotten worse in the last 30 years. Today, we want to have that confrontation with white citizens.”

“We are here to start a conversation about land and generational wealth. I’ve been an EFF member since I was 18. I fully agree with their message. No other party is speaking about this issue. The ANC is a neoliberal party. We, as white people, are holding onto our parents’ money. There was no healing in 1994. There needs to be mass reparations.”

Jack Markowitz

Watch: White EFF member outlines his views on Brackenfell

Brackenfell protests on Friday 20 November

The EFF are continuing their protest outside of the local high school on Friday. The demonstrations were launched after a group of students and teachers allegedly organised a ‘whites-only’ matric dance – but these claims have been strenuously denied by those involved. Sadly, the march hasn’t been entirely peaceful.

Police were seen deploying teargas, water cannons and stun grenades to quell one section of the protesters. They allege that the EFF members had intentionally veered off-course from their planned route.