Protests also affect private students

2015-10-27 06:00
Students protesting against university fees in Darling Street on their way to parliament. 
Tina Hsu/News24

Students protesting against university fees in Darling Street on their way to parliament. PHOTO: Tina Hsu/News24

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#Feesmustfall was the word of the week as students marched nationwide against an increase in university fees last week.

After receiving the news that fees would increase by 10.5% for next year’s academic year, students all over the country took a stand and fought against the increase.

Following a week of protest, president Jacob Zuma announced on Friday there would be no increase in fees at universities across the country next year.

As protesting students marched on parliament last week Wednesday and Thursday, students from a private institution in Darling Street in the city centre were also hindered from attending campus as protesting students clashed with police right on their doorstep.

One Media student at Damelin, Mikhailah Wagner, says she was warned by one of her lecturers on Thursday morning last week not to visit campus until it was safe to do so.

While not all agree with the violence associated with the students’ protest, even students from private instutions say they have the utmost respect for their fellow students for standing up against the fee hike.

Jason Seekoei, an IT student at Damelin, tell People’s Post the way the protestors went about doing things got out of hand and that they invaded a space not just of the students at the campus but the vendors on the curb as well.

He says, however, he supports the students as the university fees will affect future generations.

“As students we come from different backgrounds and this strike affects everyone,” he says.

Wagner says she also respects the students for sacrificing their studies to fight for what is right.

A spokesperson from Damelin says it was interesting to witness the march last week, but also scary because they were not sure what was to happen as the marching students were chanting and vandalising properties of vendors in the street.

Jerome Visagie, another IT student at Damelin, says he applied to study further at one of the universities next year, but is worried about tuition due to the steep increase that was expected.

Visagie says the only way to go forward is for everyone to stand together and make a difference.

Davin Love, also an IT student, feels the fees at both private and public institutions are expensive and not everyone can afford it.

“If the leaders don’t take note, I say make them listen even if it’s by force, because we are the future of this country,” he says.

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