Mdantsane – President Cyril Ramaphosa formally launched the Good Green Deeds campaign in Mdantsane, Eastern Cape, on Friday but not without hiccups.
This after a group of an ANC-aligned student movement, South African Students Congress (Sasco) from Lovedale TVET College, sang while Ramaphosa was on stage at Sisa Dukashe Stadium delivering the main address of the campaign described by the government as “a ground-breaking initiative that seeks to mobilise all sectors of South Africa to become more environmentally conscious”.
Even though senior government officials appealed to the rowdy group of students not to disrupt Ramaphosa, they continued to sing with some carrying placards with the words ‘ANC failed us’ written on them.
Before the arrival of Ramaphosa and his entourage to the stadium, Eastern Cape Public Works MEC Pemmy Majodina made an impassioned plea to the King William’s Town-based students not to disrupt Ramaphosa. “Your concerns will be attended to. Please show respect and not disrupt the president,” Majodina appealed.
Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane who was the programme director also appealed to students to “calm down” promising that a government official was to attend to their concerns.
But that was all in vain as students sang while Ramaphosa was ascending to the podium and while he was speaking. The president appeared unfazed by the disruption and referred to it as “others are singing”.
Students continued to sing and calmed down in the middle of Ramaphosa’s speech. By the time Ramaphosa was on the tail-end of his speech, the students had stopped singing.
One student from Lovedale TVET College says it’s been three months since they were kicked out of the college following a protest.
“We have tried to look for help even going to the ANC in the province but without luck. All we want is go back and learn. We wanted an intervention from Ramaphosa but he chose to ignore us hence we opted to disrupt him,” said the female student.