‘I am privileged, but don't want to study alone’

By admin
23 October 2015

“I don't want to only be around the fortunate people,” this Tuks student said. “It is not a true representation of who we are."

Protesting University of Pretoria students sang and danced gathered at the institution's amphitheatre on Thursday morning. The large group reiterated their refusal to back down from a demand for no fee increases, holding hands in a show of solidarity. One student held aloft a placard saying: "I am privileged to be able to come here. But I don't want to study alone without those who are not as fortunate as a I am".

The student, Anushka Kempken told News24 she was part of the movement because she felt strongly about what they were fighting for.

"I am in a fortunate place to attend university but I don't want to only be around the fortunate people. It is not a true representation of who we are," she said.

'It is not a true representation of who we are'

"I am the eldest of five siblings. I don't want any of my young siblings not to be able to go to varsity just because my parents can't afford [it]."

A student leader for the Economic Freedom Fighters said it was worrying that while the protesters were fighting for the 0% increase, others were studying in the library. The leader said the protesters were going to fetch them.

On Wednesday afternoon, a nationwide protest by students against increased fees came to a head when protesters stormed the Parliament precinct while Finance Minister Nonhlanhla Nene was delivered his mid-term budget.

The protesters clashed with police, who eventually used stun grenades to force them back out.

Several protesters were arrested, including the sons of University of Cape Town Vice-Chancellor Max Price and ANC stalwart Frank Chikane.

The protest action began last week Wednesday, with Wits University students protesting against a proposed 10.5% fee hike for 2016. Other institutions joined in this week.

On Tuesday afternoon, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced that vice chancellors of various universities had agreed to cap their fee hikes at 6% for 2016. Students, however, were adamant that there should be no increases at all.


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