Students must take step back or risk political divisions - analysts

2015-10-26 13:34
Protesting UCT students make their voices heard while they block a road in Cape Town. Picture: Nasief Maine

Protesting UCT students make their voices heard while they block a road in Cape Town. Picture: Nasief Maine

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – Students should take the win and spend time regrouping instead of continuing with their protests this week, political analysts said on Monday.

They said that continuing with protests would divide the student bodies as various structures pursued their own political agendas.

Students across the country have been protesting for university fees to fall for over a week, and on Friday were victorious when President Jacob Zuma announced a 0% increase for next year.

But the students want more, and this week continued their protests for free education.

Eastern Cape political analyst Dr Joleen Steyn-Kotze said students now had to take a step back and decide what was achievable in their demands.

"In terms of building up momentum following their win last week, we cannot have a situation where the country is brought to a standstill if their demands cannot be achieved. There is going to be a need for self-reflection, on what they want in the long run and how they can achieve it."

She emphasised that students had to focus on their goals and not allow political agendas to influence them.

So far, the students had been adamant that they would not allow any political parties to hijack their movement. Last week, they booed and chased away Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane, who had wanted to address them at the University of Cape Town.

They also threatened to chase away Economic Freedom Fighters chief whip Floyd Shivambu outside Parliament on Wednesday as he was addressing media.

On Friday, Western Cape premier Helen Zille also joined the student protest at Stellenbosch University, but was asked to leave by students after a while.

This, according to political analyst Daniel Silke, was so the students could drive their message with a unified voice, independent of their party affiliations.

"They did not want political parties to potentially disruptive to the aims of the demonstrations. They felt none of the political parties have properly addressed their grievances over the years."

Silke said the students had achieved what they wanted last week, and if they now broadened the scope of their protest, they would lose their strength.

"The danger is the students have tasted blood and they will want more. But to take this further at this stage will weaken the broader movement and cause political divisions to emerge."

Various universities remained closed on Monday as students protested for free education and for universities to stop outsourcing workers.

Read more on:    uct  |  wits university  |  stellenbosch university  |  university fees

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.