Zuma has failed students - Sasco

2016-10-05 17:35
Blade Nzimande

Blade Nzimande

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Johannesburg – The South African Student Congress (Sasco) is losing confidence in Cabinet, particularly President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa, it said on Wednesday.

“They have dismally failed to co-ordinate their team in ensuring that it co-operates and finds the money to fund this priority of both the government and the ANC," Sasco leader Thabo Majola said, referring to free higher education.

Sasco was extremely angry at the ANC and Cabinet for failing to treat the student protests with the "urgency and political boldness it deserves". Zuma had failed to ensure his Cabinet implemented ANC policies on free education, and to provide the leadership to solve the impasse between students and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.

Sasco decided at its national working committee meeting on Tuesday that Zuma and Ramaphosa had to meet student leaders in less than a week.

Minister on 'holiday'

He claimed ANC sub-committee chairperson on education, Naledi Pandor, did not support free education.

"She has stalled free education. We had serious issues with her when she was the minister of education."

Ministers of police Nathi Nhleko and state security David Mahlobo‎ had to be held responsible for the destruction of property and violence on campuses.

"The minister of state security and intelligence is on holiday. He has allowed destruction of our country's assets, the burning of schools and the torching of university infrastructure."

Nhleko had to be held responsible for the violence police directed at students, Majola said.

Lecturer, students, police injured

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

Police fired rubber bullets and teargas at students 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, to hold talks with students about access to higher education.

Read more on:    sasco  |  cyril ­ramaphosa  |  jacob zuma  |  blade nzimande  |  education  |  university fees

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