Wits admin response set precedent for other protests - analyst

2015-10-20 14:31
Former Wits SRC president Mcebo Dlamini addresses students, vice-chancellor Adam Habib and some of Habib’s colleagues during a discussion about next year’s fee increase at the institution
Picture: Felix Dlangamandla

Former Wits SRC president Mcebo Dlamini addresses students, vice-chancellor Adam Habib and some of Habib’s colleagues during a discussion about next year’s fee increase at the institution Picture: Felix Dlangamandla

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WATCH: Protesting Wits education students march to occupy medical campus

2015-10-20 09:48

Watch as protesting students move from Wits's education campus towards the medical campus in continued protests.WATCH

Durban - When the administrators of Wits University kowtowed to striking students, they set a precedent that tertiary institutions across the country are now counting the cost, political analyst Protas Madlala said on Monday.

"Wits bowing to the pressure of the students when Adam Habib was held hostage on Friday, set a precedent... They had very little choice because they were being held hostage," he said.

This followed a wave of student uprisings at facilities of higher learning in all corners of South Africa.  

Madlala said the movement reminded him of the battle against the Bantu Education system waged by the students in the seventies.

"It is unprecedented [the protest action at Universities across the country at the same time] and it reminds me of the student uprisings of 1976 where it went like a wildfire."

"This new wave of student uprising started with the battle against colonial statues and never before has there been a unified protest against fees. Protest action against fees usually happens in the beginning of the year and are independent of one another; this is completely new," he said.

"On the positive side, it shows me that the youth can still rise up. A lot of things go wrong in the country and I thought the youth were not the same as the youth of old." 

He questioned whether or not the influence of Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema had contributed to the uprising, likening it to the mass movement against colonial statues.

"Could this be a new youth under Malema having penetrated the universities? I don’t know."

"Blade [Nzimande] will be next and they will try and lure him to one of these institutions and hold him hostage there.

"There needs to be direction in this movement and if not it becomes destructive and this is my worry, it could lead to anarchy at tertiary institutions," he said.  

Read more on:    wits university  |  johannesburg  |  university fees

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