My heart is broken by those who want lectures to continue - Wits student

2016-10-05 12:23
Mixo Macheve (Mpho Raborife, News24)

Mixo Macheve (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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'We're not trying to undermine Fees Must Fall' - #TakeBackWits leader

2016-10-05 10:52

Wits is preparing for a mass meeting of protesting students in favour of shut-downs, at the same time as a 'Take Back Wits' gathering at the other end of the spectrum.WATCH

Johannesburg - Mixo Machebe, a 24-year-old Wits humanities student, said his heart has been broken by students who want to return to lectures. 

Machebe, who says he is facing financial exclusion, was sitting on the steps of the Great Hall on Wednesday wearing a bright yellow reflective jacket and navy blue pants with a tear on the seat. His toes had pierced their way through his Lacoste sneakers.

However, Machebe said he hopes the situation for people like him is resolved soon so he can go back to class.

"I am not failing. If you had to see my academic transcript is clean. I got distinctions and I also want to return to class, but we need free education," he told News24. 

"Those students who want classes to resume are not seeing the bigger picture."

He said students who were marching on Wednesday to "Take Wits Back" were selfish and did not know what the "black child" was going through.

"Wake up black child," he said.

Cycle of poverty

Protesters and police clashed outside the institution's Great Hall on Tuesday, resulting in several people, including officers and a News24 reporter being injured. 

Machebe cut a lonely figure as he sat quietly on the steps with a poster held up. His lips were dry and cracked at the corners, but when asked when last he had eaten or if he was hungry, he said he was fine.

A woman standing near Machebe began weeping as she listened to him explain how important attaining a degree was for black families as for many it was a way out of poverty.

She cried softly as he explained how painful it was to be on campus with the only clothes one had on their back and with little money to buy food.

His said he acknowledged that all students at the institution wanted to pass well with degrees that could guarantee them jobs. But the quest for free higher education for all was also important in order to eliminate the cycle of poverty, he said.

Read more on:    wits university  |  university protests  |  education  |  university fees

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