Govt must fulfil #FeesMustFall promises - Zulu king

2016-09-11 11:43
King Goodwill Zwelithini (Amanda Khoza, News24)

King Goodwill Zwelithini (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Nongoma – If government officials make promises to students, they should do so knowing how much they have budgeted for, King Goodwill Zwelithini has said following last week's violent student protests in KwaZulu-Natal.

The protests at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where the academic programme was suspended until September 20, left the law library and other buildings torched.

Zwelithini was addressing more than 30 000 young women and dignitaries gathered at the 2016 Umkhosi woMhlanga at eNyongeni Royal Palace in Nongoma on Saturday.

"I also ask [government] that when you have not fulfilled your promises, go back to communities and inform people what happened and ask for more patience, because making promises... and not fulfilling them is one of the reasons why people are burning infrastructure like universities."

He also had a message for the student protesters. "Some of you have studied and graduated. These young women will not have universities because you are burning the same shelter where you were educated."

To vice chancellors, Zwelithini said his door was open if they needed him to intervene.

"If you think we can make a difference, I already have a team set up if you need us."


He said what was happening was hurtful because it painted a picture of a community and a nation that could not sit down and negotiate.

"Yes we sympathise with the young people that are doing these bad things but the question is, where are the mothers and fathers of these girls and boys that can plan to destroy state assets with fire?

"Why do parents leave everything to the police and the government when their children get unruly? Why are parents keeping quiet when they watch television and see their sons and daughter destroying property with a matchstick? Where are the Zulu men when there are people destroying infrastructure built by the Zulu nation?

"Where are the mothers of the nation when children are ill-disciplined in schools and universities? I cringe to think if this is what they are doing out there, how are they at home? Government needs to make the necessary steps to try and negotiate."

To the students, Zwelithini said reaching agreements was a sign of maturity.

"Yes, we hear your grievances, but be careful that your actions do not reduce your struggle and that of your forefathers in 1994. They did not liberate you so that you can burn property.

"When we travel around the world, we visit places that were built thousands of years ago. In those buildings, there is evidence of what happened in history. If you burn infrastructure what will you show tourists when they come to South Africa?

"My plea with Izindu and Amakhosi is to ensure that no school or university is burnt in your areas. Zulus should protect everything that they inherited in KwaZulu-Natal."

Zwelithini also warned the young women to steer clear of drugs, especially whoonga.

Read more on:    ukzn  |  king goodwill zwelithini  |  durban  |  university protests  |  education  |  university fees

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