Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has reiterated her conviction that peace without social justice is pie in the sky.
As long as there is injustice somewhere‚ sustainable peace cannot be experienced anywhere‚” she said on Monday.
The public protector suggested that responsibility of ensuring social justice depended on society as much as it depended on the powers that be.
Giving her two cents’ worth on the tertiary fees issue‚ Madonsela said students could not afford to cut off their nose to spite their face.
“Young persons can fast-track the delivery of the South African dream without bricks‚ stones and fire‚ and when normal dialogue fails‚ they can make use of other constitutional avenues such as the public protector‚ the South African Human Rights Commission and petitions‚ among others”
Madonsela was speaking during a dialogue session at the North West University‚ ahead of a public “Prestige Lecture”‚ in Mahikeng.
She noted that protesters in the 1970s did not burn down infrastructure they were going to need‚ as when one was unhappy at one’s home‚ one did not set alight the house one will need for shelter.
She said that fees must fall only for those who could not afford them‚ otherwise resources meant for the disadvantaged would be lost to those who were historically advantaged‚ and those who are well-off due to the fruits of democracy.
Madonsela lamented that there was a link between social injustice and corruption in that corruption stole resources that should fund national development‚ and said young people should include the scourge corruption amongst their grievances.
She concluded by assuring the university community that social justice could only be achieved if there was a realisation that “the power of intelligence lies in the mind”‚ and calling on students to “use their minds to make a difference