Weekly Reflection from CPLO and the Jesuit Institute Week of 12 September 2016

by Puleng Matsaneng

Lepotlapotla le ja monna (A need for patience) – Sesotho proverb

Towards the end of last year some university students campaigned for #feesmustfall. The campaign gained a lot of popularity but there was some uneasiness as to whether the students would write their final examinations. The students felt strongly that the government need to help pay fees of those students who cannot afford to pay.

This week the University of Kwazulu-Natal experienced violence, the burning of the law library and university vehicles. The students went on strike. They assumed that the University would be increasing fees next year. During the protest one of the students was allegedly raped by a South African Police officer. This news further led to damage of university property.

We need to try to understand our purpose in life and be faithful to it. The fact that some expected that the university would increase fees or that an alleged rape took place does not give anyone the right to burning of property and vehicles. There are ways and means of dealing with things that we are not happy about. The first avenue should always be peaceful negotiations between the university administration and the SRC.

What has happened leaves us lost and not sure what will happen next. Destroying the library and saying, as one student did, that “the university’s insurance will pay” is a shame. Secondly, the allegation that a law enforcement officer raped someone is shocking. Let us not allow impatience, shame and confusion to take control of our lives. Patience should always prevail.


Lord Jesus,

through your Father, help us in times of confusion, in times when we do not know which way to move.

Open our ears and eyes to hear you and to see you, Lord.

Make us a nation which sees our problems and the world through the eyes of Jesus.

Mould us into a people who trust in your wisdom.


Ms Puleng Matsaneng

Puleng works in Spirituality and researches Ignatian Spirituality in an African context. Her area of speciality is in exploring how African themes and practices of spirituality dialogue with the Western traditions, and how that is understood in relation to Ignatian Spirituality. She has looked at how Ignatian Spirituality can be integrated into the African worldview. Most especially, how the use of song and storytelling can be part of the prayer process. She is currently managing retreats in daily life and training prayer guides. Puleng is also involved in ongoing Spiritual Direction, giving 8-day and 30-day retreats. Her latest venture is a pilot programme of healing workshops that use the principles of Ignatian Spirituality.

See more from Puleng Matsaneng
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