Petrol bombs proof student protests have been hijacked – ANC

2016-09-25 22:12
NMMU students march over fees. (News24)

NMMU students march over fees. (News24)

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Johannesburg – The discovery of three petrol bombs at the University of the Witwatersrand on Saturday is evidence enough to show that the student protests around #FeesMustFall and an increase in fees have been hijacked, the ANC said on Sunday.

Speaking to News24 on Sunday, party spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said it was important for management, vice rectors and students at institutions of higher learning to protect public property and assets at the universities.

“They must also be careful of elements which seem to have hijacked the genuine demands of students,” said Kodwa.

The party has urged students to return to classes and the negotiation table, stating that nothing could serve as a substitute for dialogue.

Students have been protesting since September 19 following an announcement of proposed adjustments to their study fees by Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande. Even though he placed a cap of 8% on increases and announced that poorer students would not be affected by the hikes, the news has not been welcomed at all with many demanding immediate free education.

Kodwa said the petrol bombs could have been part of a plot to cause more discontent with government.

“Clearly the discovery of these three petrol bombs indicates that there is a need to not just protect their assets, but protect people."

Kodwa said it was obvious that they planned on instigating carnage in order for police and other security forces to resort to violence to bring it  under control. Any casualties would, he said, be blamed on the state. 


He said the party’s other concern was that students were being militarised. 

“Nobody knows what those bombs were going to be used for, against students, security or management. Hence we are calling on students to be vigilant,” said the ANC spokesperson.

He said students needed to trust that government will hear their calls because it listened to its people. He also urged those who were left feeling confused by Nzimande’s announcement to seek clarity.

“If there are grey areas in the announcement by the minister let leadership of students discuss that. No student coming from a poor financial background will be denied education, because it is a fundamental right.

“[There is] no need for the disruption of property including casualties, (be)cause you are destroying the future of the generations of your children's children,” concluded Kodwa.

Read more on:    anc  |  sabc

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