#FeesMustFall: ‘ANC must stop being arrogant’

2015-10-22 19:50
(Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

(Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe ate humble pie when protesting students forced him to climb off a truck to receive their memorandum of demands in the Johannesburg city centre. 

Thousands of students, who took part in a march to deliver the memorandum at the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters in the city centre, demanded that Mantashe climb off the party’s campaign truck to receive it. 

He initially resisted but the students, from the universities of Johannesburg and Wits, wouldn’t budge and he was forced to climb off the truck. 

Extraordinary scenes played themselves out in Sauer Street as students also attempted to force Mantashe to sit down, but he refused and threatened to leave.

Eventually they allowed him to receive and sign the memorandum while standing. 

The memorandum demanded that the ANC implement a resolution it took in its 2007 conference to provide free higher education to all poor students. They also demanded the end to the outsourcing of services, such as cleaning, at the institutions. 

Thousands of students poured into the city centre, intensifying the second day of the #FeesMustFall campaign, which led to a national shutdown of tertiary institutions. 

The campaign has seen the suspension of classes and exams at the universities of Johannesburg, Wits, Pretoria, Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and KwaZulu Natal and Fort Hare. 

Addressing the students, former Wits student representative council president Mcebo Dlamini said: “The ANC must stop being arrogant and implement free higher education for the poor. We also demand that the ANC recalls Higher Education Minister Dr Blade Nzimande.” 

Traffic around the Luthuli House precinct came to a standstill as Sauer, President and Market streets were closed. 

As the students – who were disciplined – approached, hawkers gathered their goods and left. Shopkeepers quickly rolled down garage doors and locked their stock.

People were seen urinating from high-rise buildings.

Read more on:    gwede ­mantashe  |  feesmustfall

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