ANC has pitted universities against students - DA

2016-10-06 17:05
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Wits shut down on the cards

2016-10-06 12:05

University of Witwatersrand vice-chancellor Adam Habib has vowed to shut down campus if the general assembly set to take place on Friday is not fruitful. WATCH

Johannesburg – The ANC has pitted universities against students, DA higher education spokesperson Belinda Bozzoli said on Thursday during a media briefing. 

"In a shameful effort by the ANC government to distract South Africans from their evident abandonment of higher education and to further avoid further marches to Luthuli House and the Union Buildings, they have pitted universities against students," she said. 

The party held a press briefing to propose its own funding model, which it said would redesign NSFAS to provide full loans to poor students.

Bozzoli blamed President Jacob Zuma and the ANC for the current conflict at universities. 

"It is without doubt that Zuma and his government must therefore share responsibility in the crisis that has unfolded this year."

She said there was a leadership vacuum which had been filled with violence and intimidation from a small group of students.

On Monday, student leaders disrupted a higher education summit when Zuma left after making his address. 

Student leaders demanded that Zuma return to listen to their concerns. 

'Zuma does not care'

During his speech, Zuma urged students to return to class. Students were highly critical, saying that Zuma did not care about the situation at universities. 

The South African Student Congress demanded that Zuma meet with student leaders within a week. It said that Zuma and his Cabinet had failed students. 

On Tuesday, students and police clashed as Wits University reopened its doors. Seventeen students were arrested.

Police fired rubber bullets and teargas at protesters after they attempted to break a police chain. Some students then threw stones at officers.

International relations lecturer David Hornsby, police officers, and protesters were injured.

Student protesters have periodically shut down a number of campuses nationwide as they called for free education. This followed Nzimande’s announcement on September 19 that tertiary education fees would increase by no more than 8%, but only for those students who could afford it.

Wits decided late on Tuesday that it would close its doors until next Monday, in order to hold talks with students about access to higher education.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  politics  |  university protests  |  university fees

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