Students, UCT staff not on the same page at Parliament protest

2016-09-22 15:38
Students from Stellenbosch and UCT tell university staff outside Parliament to call for free higher education. (Paul Herman, News24)

Students from Stellenbosch and UCT tell university staff outside Parliament to call for free higher education. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town - Students have told protesting university staff that they should join them in their demand for "free, decolonised education", or they would not be joining the staff protest

University of Cape Town (UCT) staff organised a protest outside Parliament on Thursday to demand more funding for the sector and an end to the fees crisis.

They were joined by academics from the University of the Western Cape and Stellenbosch University.

Students from Stellenbosch and a handful from UCT, however, joined the crowd outside Parliament, and accused staff of being hypocritical.

They said staff had remained silent when students were being "brutalised" by private security, as well as interdicted and expelled by management.

"Your protest is meaningless and useless if you do not support free, decolonised education," said a UCT student.

"We will not come back next year to continue protesting for free education."

The students said that no one was to be named for fear of victimization.

Professor Bongani Mayosi, Dean of UCT's Health Sciences faculty, assured students that staff wanted what they wanted.

"We support the progressive realization of free, decolonised education in this country.

"The students' call has actually given us an opportunity for convergence with them."

Staff were there to hand a memorandum over to Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande over their grievances, which included the call for more funding for research.

A representative for Nzimande accepted the memo, saying the minister was on business in Pretoria.

A Stellenbosch University student, who also did not want to be named, earlier told the gathered educators not to hijack the movement, and to continue to let students lead the call for free education.

*This article has been updated.

Read more on:    uct  |  stellenbosch university  |  university fees  |  university protests

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