Cow sold to cover varsity registration fees

2015-11-04 06:00
PHOTO: facebook Banele Mathenjwa.

PHOTO: facebook Banele Mathenjwa.

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BANELE Mathenjwa’s parents had to sell one of their most prized possessions to send him to university.

The first-year student from a small village called Manyiseni in Ngwavuma, northern KwaZulu-Natal, said his father had to sell a cow to raise R6 000 for him to register for his law degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

“I am one of 12 children. My mother is part of an expanded public works programme that cleans the roads in the area and my father works in a shopping complex in Ngwavuma,” the 18-year-old said.

When he was accepted to study law he was excited because he knew this was his ticket to a better life for his family, but he was crushed when he found out that he had to raise R6 500 for registration.

“It was R2 750 for tuition, another R2 750 for residence and I had paid a R500 acceptance fee. We have livestock at home so my parents had to sell one cow to raise the money. The entire course costs R65 000 and I haven’t paid anything else since that R6 000.”

Mathenjwa said he applied for funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, but couldn’t secure any for this year.

“It was tough when I arrived because I realised that I needed money for food, books and transport. I don’t own a single book for my course because they are ridiculously expensive.”

His parents send him money for food depending on their financial situation at home. He said he supports the Fees Must Fall campaign because education should be a right not a commodity.

“At the moment the education system is anti-poor and the unfortunate thing is most black people are born into poverty because of apartheid,” he said.

He said the student protest was the tip of the iceberg and if government did not listen, it could lead to a bigger social uprising and parents should not be embarrassed when they see their children protest.

“We are not the ones who cannot afford it - it is our parents. We are fighting this battle on behalf of our parents. Parents should not be embarrassed because we are doing this for them, us and the future generation,” Mathenjwa­ said. - News24.

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