You threw me under the bus - Nzimande tells student leaders

2016-10-03 14:27
Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande and President Jacob Zuma at the higher education summit. (GCIS via Twitter)

Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande and President Jacob Zuma at the higher education summit. (GCIS via Twitter)

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Johannesburg - Minister of higher education Blade Nzimande lashed out at student leaders accusing them of going back on their word when they disrupted a higher education summit earlier on Monday afternoon.

"You keep on shifting the goalpost all the time because you don't want us to have a proper engagement. I want people to know that last year you agreed on a maximum 6% increase. Then we were all supposed to go out and convince our constituencies to accept that. The moment we left that meeting you never did that. You left me on my own, thrown under a bus," he said.

Nzimande said student leaders had also agreed with the ministry on the resolutions taken for the year 2017.

"We agreed with you, now you come back saying what you are saying. You are not playing a fair game, in the process you are gambling with the future of the majority of students in this country." 

Student leaders disrupted proceedings demanding that President Jacob Zuma comes back to the summit.

Zuma had earlier delivered a keynote address asking students to return to class. 


After Zuma concluded his address deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana told attendees that Zuma had to leave the summit to attend to ANC matters at its headquarters at Luthuli House. 

"This is a fundamental case in point of how much we are undermined as students. You have ANC Mondays and you have a country burning but you would take ANC Monday [at the] expense of you engaging the students," a student leader stood up and said.

"When you should be engaging with student leaders who are in charge of this movement, you go to an ANC Monday. This is the kind of arrogance that is perpetuating the violence we see in our country." 

With a show of hands, the students expressed their demand that Nzimande call Zuma back.

They said they had engaged with Nzimande and he had indicated that some of these matters were above him.

Nzimande denied this and said the students were grandstanding because of the media. 

One student stood up and said Nzimande should stop misleading the public and refrain from using the media against them. 

Read more on:    blade nzimande  |  university protests  |  university fees

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