ANC likens burning of books on campuses to Nazi actions

2016-09-07 17:07

Johannesburg – The ANC on Wednesday condemned the destruction of property and burning of books by student protesters, comparing the act to that of the German Student Union, a Nazi organisation.

"The burning of books is a symbolic act of anti-intellectualism. In the 1930s the German Student Union, a Nazi structure, ran a book-burning campaign, targeting books written by Jews, liberals and communists. It was a prelude to Fascism and the Holocaust," Naledi Pandor said in her capacity as chairperson for the ANC NEC Sub-Committee on Education and Health.

"Unlawful conduct cannot be justified by the mistaken belief that burning books is an attack on white monopoly capital," she added.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal has seen widespread protests and violence at all of its campuses since Monday. On Tuesday evening, students set the Howard College law library alight causing serious damage.

Pandor said the ANC condemned the destruction of university property.

"The African National Congress condemns the destruction of university property and the intimidation and harassment of university leaders as part of student activism around the issue of free university education."

Pandor said the vandalism sought to hold universities to ransom in the name of decolonisation.

"The ANC calls on students and staff at all universities to reject violence and to ensure the Fee Commission completes its work timeously. We call on university authorities to be vigilant and call on students to protest lawfully and to direct their activism through appropriate university and political structures."

Pandor added that the ANC was confident that a solution would be found "to ensure that no young person from a poor family is denied higher education". 

"We urge the government to determine a solution that ensures those who can afford to pay fees do so, and those who do not have the financial means are supported by state resources."

Read more on:    anc  |  ukzn  |  durban  |  university fees

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