'Pravin must find the money for fees crisis' - Maimane

2016-10-26 13:56
DA leader Mmusi Maimane at the march outside Parliament (Paul Herman, News24)

DA leader Mmusi Maimane at the march outside Parliament (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town - DA leader Mmusi Maimane told about 1 000 marchers outside Parliament on Wednesday that there is money in government to solve the university fees crisis, and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan must find it.

DA Student Organisation (DASO) student leaders and the party's executive led the march from De Waal Park, in Gardens, to Parliament to demand that Gordhan find the money.

Gordhan will deliver the mid-term budget address in Parliament around 14:00

"Do not tell me there is no money," Maimane said atop a sound truck.

"If there was no money, there would not have been a Nkandla. If there was no money, Dudu Myeni would not be living large at the SAA.

"There is money and we want that money to solve the current funding crisis," he said to cheers from the large crowd of supporters.

DASO leader and DA MP Yusuf Cassim told the crowd that the protests were not new, and the party had been calling for better funding for years.

He said it was unreasonable for poor students and taxpayers to fund university studies for rich students. The party was committed to finding an affordable solution to the crisis.

Academics protest

Earlier on Wednesday, over 100 academics, university staff, and parents gathered outside Parliament to call for government to address chronic under-funding in the education sector.

Many had donned red robes. They handed over a memorandum and held signs stating: "Save Our Universities". UCT vice-chancellor Max Price had the sign on his umbrella.

The crowd shouted "We want Blade" as a representative accepted the memorandum. This was in reference to Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande. The representative said government would apply its mind to their demands.

The crowd did not seem happy with this. Some shouted: "What mind?" and "How long?! Christmas?" Police escorted the official back into Parliament.

Thousands of students and supporters of the Fees Must Fall movement had gathered on Wednesday morning for their protest march to Parliament.

The amphitheatre at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, near the Cape Town CBD, was filled with protesters clapping and singing.

They did laps of the campus in the blazing heat, carrying a cardboard coffin and a picture of Nzimande, with a slogan demanding that fees fall now.

One woman did an impromptu strip protest to reveal the word "Revolt" written in marker on her chest.

Another carried a poster that read: "Makunyiwe Macala" (the shit will come from both sides).

Read more on:    daso  |  da  |  mmusi maimane  |  cape town  |  university fees  |  university protests  |  parliament 2016  |  mini budget

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