Protect non-protesting students - AfriForum Youth

2015-10-26 15:22
AfriForum Youth hand over their memorandum to the Presidency. (Thomas Hartleb, News24)

AfriForum Youth hand over their memorandum to the Presidency. (Thomas Hartleb, News24)

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Pretoria – The rights of non-protesting students must be protected, Afriforum Youth said on Monday.

It also called for the scrapping of class and race-based quotas as criteria for financial help.

While the civil rights group sympathised with students who could not afford fees, the violence that had marred the protests last week could not be condoned, spokesperson Ian Cameron said at the Union Buildings.

They handed a memorandum of demands to a presidency official and displayed posters reading "Blade moet hard val" (Blade must fall hard), "Afrikanse studente benodig ook finansiele hulp" (Afrikaans students also need financial aid), and "Ons soek onderrig in Afrikaans" (We want tuition in Afrikaans).

Presidency official Shemy Masheu said they would make sure the memorandum received the "necessary attention" and it was acknowledged with a written reply.

According to the memorandum, many students from middle-class Afrikaans families, for example the children of teachers and policemen, were not poor enough to qualify for financial aid, but also not rich enough to afford tuition fees.

These poor students were being discriminated against because of their race and were not getting financial aid, Cameron said.

AfriForum Youth's other demands included protection for the rights of both protesting and non-protesting students at universities, and an end to race-based university admission quotas.

Cameron said that at the University of Pretoria on Monday protesters went into the student centre and pulled out the cables of computers to prevent people from working.

In Potchefstroom students were being bussed in from Mahikeng to disrupt learning, in Bloemfontein a protest was planned for Tuesday, and in Stellenbosch students were also still protesting.

He said the fact that exams were being postponed would cause problems for those students who wanted to start work in January next year.

Read more on:    afriforum youth  |  pretoria  |  education  |  university fees

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