University of the Free State (UFS) student Eckhard Binding has told The Citizen that he only persisted with his attempt to throw away litter during a protest on campus last week because he was trying to set “a good example”. Video footage of the one scene that played out during the protest last week led by, among others, the EFF, led many to criticise the party and its members and jump to the support of Binding.
WATCH: White student picking up determined EFF litterers’ waste sparks scorn In the clip, the singleminded young man can be seen picking up litter strewn during the protest and putting it in a trash bin, only for two waiting female EFF members to throw it back on the ground, rather mockingly. The clip only emerged on social media on Monday and went hugely viral, being viewed globally. Instead of Eckhard just giving up, he remained determined to make his point, so the scene repeated itself numerous times, with Binding simply continuing to pick up litter and attempt unsuccessfully to put it back in the bin.
It was then tossed right back out. One vocal video blogger, Renaldo Gouws, in response has even go so far as to tell EFF supporters they are “a problem”. Less acerbic criticism of the party and its protest nevertheless wanted to know if it was now EFF policy to trash property during protests, a question that was posed to party spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
Others said one should not judge an entire protest, or group for that matter, by the actions of a few EFF members alone while still others pointed out that the video appeared to have become an excuse for people to vent their racism. Binding said he hadn’t really thought through why he was doing it too much, and only contemplated it fully afterwards. “Last week we had some protests here at UFS regarding the outsourcing of employees such as the facilities workers, and some students and political parties and workers thought it would be right to protest.
“We generally see that protest actions do not run smoothly on campuses or in general.