Minister calls for parents to intervene

2016-10-12 06:00
PHOTO: nokuthula khanyile Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.

PHOTO: nokuthula khanyile Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.

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HIGHER Education Minister Blade Nzimande has called upon parents of university students taking part in fees must fall protests across the country to intervene.

Nzimande was speaking on Tuesday at Georgetown High in Edendale where he was attending a book launch.

He criticised students who burnt down and tarnished university property during the protests.

“Parents need to stand up and say ‘this is enough now’. You cannot send your children to university and then say they are Nzimande­’s problem. Please speak to your children so they can go back to class and continue with the academic programme.”

Nzimande said he believed a third force was fuelling the fees must fall protests.

“There is something sinister behind the student protests, it is clear there is a third force that has hijacked this campaign. It is no longer students who are behind these protests, there are opportunists who have brought in issues of politics,” he said.

Nzimande said although students had a right to protest, there was no need to burn property.

“We also embarked on anti-apartheid protests during our time as students, but we did not burn schools. We knew that after the protests were over we would make use of that property to propel us forward with our education.”

Nzimande said if the protests carry on children from poor families will be the ones who suffer the most.

“Children from poor families will have nowhere else to get their education. The likes of Oppenheimer and Rupert will send their children to universities abroad because they can afford to.”

He said poor families will not be able to do the same because education abroad is expensive.

“It costs roughly R1.5 million a year to get an education at Cambridge or Oxford, even as a minister I cannot afford that, it’s too expensive.”

Nzimande urged pupils at the book launch not to jump on the bandwagon of destroying property when they reach university.

“I hope you will be a generation that will value property so we don’t have what we saw in Vuwani Limpopo where 30 schools were burnt down. I hope you will be the ones to say ‘don’t burn our property we will need it’.”

Minister said
although students had a right to protest, there was no need to burn property

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