Protesters must take fight to govt - parent of Wits student

2016-10-07 14:38
Wits University

Wits University (Elizabeth Sejake, City Press)

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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 - A parent whose daughter is a student at Wits has criticised the manner in which students are protesting, saying they should not be destroying the university, but should instead be taking their fight to government.

Loshni Naidoo said she was worried that her daughter, a second-year Actuarial Science student, may not finish her studies this year.

"My main concern is that my child cannot finish this academic year, which she has worked very hard for, and we as parents have paid the fees for this year.

"I understand what the students are fighting for, and I fully support it, and my daughter fully supports it, however, we don’t like the manner in which it is being done.

"The fight is with government, so why destroy the university, why stop other students from completing their academic year if they are unable to go with the flow at the moment? They support it yes, but you don’t expect thousands of students to close down the university, destroy it and then do your demonstration out here. Is government really listening, I don’t think they are, they are not interested."

She said students should rather approach state institutions.

"We work too hard to put our children in a university [and] pay the fees. They need to complete this academic year. I cannot imagine my child coming back to complete her second year next year. I would rather send my child then overseas and let her live with some relative and study there," she said.

Join us in pressuring government - #FeesMustFall

One of the #FeesMustFall leaders, Anzio Jacobs, said the movement also wanted to return to class, but needed the university to stand behind them and help them take the matter to the top decision makers in the country.

"We very much want to go with the university outside of this campus so that we can engage the state.

"All of us would like to continue with the academic programme. Parents should be pressuring Adam Habib to engage with students so that we can resume with the academic programme. We do not want violence, we are not in agreement with any sort of violence.

He said that they, as protesting students, had no desire to destroy Wits.

"In fact, many of us love this institution and we do want to be here. We are asking for all members of society, parents, clergy, civil society, the public sector to join us [in putting] pressure on government so that this thing can come to an end. We are tired of having FMF but we need to continue until we reach that goal," Jacobs said.

Read more on:    wits university  |  johannesburg  |  university protests  |  education  |  university fees

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