EFF student wing threatens 'harsh response' at universities that do not allow late registrations

2020-01-03 20:52
Mandla Shikwambana. (EFF via Twitter)

Mandla Shikwambana. (EFF via Twitter)

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The EFF Student Command (EFFSC) has warned its members will embark on a "harsh" programme at universities which do not allow walk-ins and late registrations for deserving students.

Places of higher learning are preparing for the influx of a fresh crop of students, with registration expected to start next week. 

In the past, the issue of acceptance and development at universities led to student protests, culminating in the #FeesMustFall student movement for free education.

The EFFSC said it would not tolerate any excuses from universities, threatening "anarchy" if walk-ins were not accepted.

'A radical and militant programme'

On Friday, its president, Mandla Shikwambana, briefed the media on its plans to combat this challenge. 

He told journalists the EFF would be embarking on a "radical and militant" programme at all campuses that would involve the scrapping of historical debt as well as free registrations for all deserving students at all 26 universities. 

Shikwambana criticised the universities of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Vaal and Venda for increasing fees, adding the EFF student branch would not rule out "public disobedience" to take on this challenge.

"We are going to respond harshly on that because our battle is free education for every child of South Africa."

The student wing would also be working with its mother body's central command team at universities on a programme called Sizoifunda Ngenkani (Study by Force), he said.

Despite the government's commitment of free education and Finance Minister Tito Mboweni doubling the state's budget this financial year to R111bn for education, Shikwambana said the promise of free education had not materialised.

"We have not seen this free education with our naked eyes as promised by the ANC-led government. We demand an explanation why there is no free education until now and we further demand a budget from the Department of Higher Education on how it plans to fund this free education." 

Call for temporary residences

The EFF urged the department to instruct all institutions to allocate temporary residences to students travelling from remote areas to register, adding this should be a common practice.

Gender-based violence and drug use at institutions will also form part of the red beret's programme, Shikwambana said.

"We want to see a plan put in place and being implemented as a matter of urgency. Students are raped at institutions of learning. Campuses must ensure that there is safety at universities…

"It's high time that we resort to anarchy if nothing is done. We call on our branches to be very strong and to respond harshly on issues of gender-based violence."

Read more on:    eff  |  education

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