MPs play blame game over #FeesMustFall protests - As it happened

2015-10-27 16:00

National Assembly's debate has largely dealt with MPs laying blame on who is responsible for the #FeesMustFall protests, and who needs to step up to deal with the problem of fees going forward. Catch the highlights of the day here.


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Last Updated at 12:54
27 Oct 16:36

National Assembly's debate has largely dealt with MPs laying blame on who is responsible for the #FeesMustFall protests, and who needs to step up to deal with the problem of fees going forward. 

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande and his deputy Mduduzi Manana both said the private sector needed to get involved in order for there to be free education. 

Nzimande said government was looking at resolving the R2.6bn shortfall following President Jacob Zuma's announcement of a 0% increase in fees for 2016. 

The minister also brought up incidents of violence in history of the IFP, after it had critiqued him.  He said the ANC brought peace to KwaZulu-Natal. 

Amid this, and criticism from other MPs that Nzimande and government had failed the students of the country, an EFF MP allegedly called DA leader Mmusi Maimane a "sell-out". DA chief whip John Steenhuisen responded by called an EFF MP a "teletubby". 

27 Oct 16:10

The debate has drown to a close. 

The National Assembly now moves on to other matters. 

27 Oct 16:08

As the debate draws to a close Mbete refers back to the 'teletubby' and 'sell-out' argument between the DA and the EFF. 

She said she could not rule on the matter involving an EFF MP allegedly calling Maimane a 'sell-out' unless it was verified by Hansard. This was because no one owned up to saying it. 

Mbete then turns to Steenhuisen and asks if he was referring to a specific member with the teletubby comment. 

"I couldn't work out whether it was Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa or Po," he replies. 

27 Oct 16:03

Nzimande has his last word, and he spends it criticising each political party. 

He also mentions violence related to the IFP, and says: "I really try and avoid the grandstanding of the IFP."

He says the ANC imposed peace in KwaZulu-Natal. 

27 Oct 15:57

Manana says students led a noble fight.

"We witnessed images of students united in diversity."

He said government did not panic, as they saw the protests as a reminder to complete the work it set out to do. 

Manana said new exam timetables would be issued for the universities. 

"It has been a long week in the streets... forward with free education in our lifetime."

27 Oct 15:51
Manana - The department will approach the National Assembly to look at bringing about free education for the poor

27 Oct 15:50
Manana says that they must admit they were humiliated by a small number of protesters who hijacked proceedings 

27 Oct 15:48
Deputy Higher Education Minister Mduduzi Manana now addressing the National Assembly

27 Oct 15:46

Bozzoli says President Zuma hated every moment of his announcement of the 0% increase. 

"The DA will do everything in its power to prevent the destruction and decay of universities," she tells Nzimande

27 Oct 15:44

The DA's Belinda Bozzoli tells the National Assembly the president think universities "are unpatriotic, expensive places full of clever blacks."

27 Oct 15:40

27 Oct 15:40
ANC MP Bongani Mkongi accused by Twitter users of using conspiracy theories 

27 Oct 15:33

The AIC's Mandlenkosi Galo brings up Fidel Castro and the level of education in Cuba. 

"The ANC should advise the president to downsize Cabinet by 50%," he says. 

He also says the number of provinces should be reduced to four, and these would provide more money to channel towards education

27 Oct 15:27

ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe now up. 

He asks where the R2.6bm shortfall will be found, and says corruption needs to be tackled as R30bn a year was lost to corruption. 

He says this lost money could be used for education

27 Oct 15:25

ANC MP Bongani Mkongi lays the blame for the fee problem at the universities' feet. 

He says some vice-chancellors and university managers have become a law unto themselves

27 Oct 15:12

27 Oct 15:11

The DA's Yusuf Cassim says Nzimande is oblivious,  like a frog in a pot of boiling water. 

27 Oct 15:07

Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota now up. 

"The big problem here... is because the ruling party is mismanaging our funds," he says.


27 Oct 15:04

The FFPlus's Pieter Mulder says the ANC's chickens are coming home to roost. 

He said the ANC often got away with things because they brainwashed voters to blame everything except the ANC. 

"I congratulate the students for not being brainwashed and fooled."

27 Oct 15:01

The IFP's M.Hlengwa and NFP's S.Mncwabe have had their say. 

The UDM's N.Kwankwa is now at the podium. 

27 Oct 14:55
I appeal to the gallery not to participate by clapping - Mbete says

27 Oct 14:54
PAC is claiming on Facebook that ANC MP Jackson Mthembu is sleeping through the debate

This Member Of Parliament Is Sleeping During Special Debate On #FeesMustFall.It Is True That They Don't Have People's...

Posted by PAC HQ on Tuesday, 27 October 2015

27 Oct 14:50
"We want to know where is the report, or is it shelved in your liquor cabinet?" - Mokause says to Nzimande. 

27 Oct 14:48

EFF MP Mmabatho Mokause now on the podium. 

"We know that since 1994 the ruling party has made empty promises of free education" - she says. 

27 Oct 14:44

An MP gets up and says Maimane should talk about how he was chased away by UCT students. 

When asked if he wants to talk about it, Maimane says "no". 

27 Oct 14:40

Maimane says government wanted students to fall - and he points to the clashes between the protesters and police outside Parliament and the Union Buildings last week. 

He said Nzimande and Zuma sat in silence inside the National Assembly on Wednesday while the students were protesting outside. 

He said the hashtag should be #BladeMustFall

27 Oct 14:37

DA leader Mmusi Maimane takes to the podium, but as he starts talking DA chief whip John Steenhuisen stands up on a point of order. 

He said that as Maimane got up a "teletubby" called him a "sell out". 

Steenhuisen pointed in the direction of the handful of EFF members. 

One female EFF MP got up and said the comment should be withdrawn.

'You are in bed with the DA' - she told Speaker Baleka Mbete

27 Oct 14:32
Gina says some institutions are only paying lip service to transformation

27 Oct 14:29

27 Oct 14:27
"We commend you [Nzimande] for taking such a bold step," Gina says

27 Oct 14:26

ANC MP Nomalugelo Gina up next. 

She congratulates Nzimande on the way forward for Higher Education transformation

27 Oct 14:23

Nzimande says free education is possible, however the private sector needed to get involved as well. 

"Government must have the political will to tax the rich and wealthy to fund higher education."

27 Oct 14:20

27 Oct 14:19
To resolve the R2bn shortfall to cover the no fee - the details will be announced on Thursday after a meeting with President Jacob Zuma

27 Oct 14:18
Nzimande says he was not "missing" during the entire #FeesMustFall protests

27 Oct 14:16

"You have no power to tell me to sit down" - Nzimande tells the female MP. 

The previous male EFF MP gets up again and reiterates the woman's point

27 Oct 14:15

Another MP stands up on a point of order - says the Nzimande must not mislead the nation

"The country needs fee education," she shouts 

27 Oct 14:15

Nzimande mentions report he did not release to the public about the feasibility of no fees for tertiary education. 

An EFF MP rises to ask a question. 

Nzimande says he will take the question at the end "if he has time". 

27 Oct 14:12
News24's Thulani Gqirana says the National Assembly has learners in uniform. Some university students are dressed in DA Students Org and EFF regalia

27 Oct 14:10
We could not cap fees because we are not legally entitled to do so, Nzimande says

27 Oct 14:09
Nzimande congratulated those students who have now returned to class

27 Oct 14:09

Nzimande : My department welcomes the announcement by Zuma that there will be no fee increases.

This decision will bring the much needed monetary relief to poor and working class families


27 Oct 14:04
We are off - and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande takes the podium

27 Oct 13:59

At 14:00 the  National Assembly is expected to begin debating higher education transformation in the country.

This follows closely on the heels of a nationwide protest against fee increases.

 The debate, which is expected to be attended by various student leaders, will be opened by Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande. 

Widespread student demonstrations were sparked two weeks ago when Wits University students blockaded the entrance to the Johannesburg university's campus after the institution indicated it would raise fees by 10.5% for 2016. The protest eventually spread to several institutions around the country.

On Wednesday, police fired stun grenades to disperse protesters who stormed the Parliamentary precinct while Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene was delivering his mid-term budget. 

Police and protesters also clashed at the Union Buildings on Friday when a small group become violent.

President Jacob Zuma announced on Friday that there would be 0% increase in fees for 2016. 

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