‘I was joking’ - Blade Nzimande

PHOTO: sourced  Higher Education Minister Nzimande has apologied for a ‘joke’ he made to students during the FeesMustFall campaign.
PHOTO: sourced Higher Education Minister Nzimande has apologied for a ‘joke’ he made to students during the FeesMustFall campaign.

HIGHER Education Minister Blade Nzimande on Thursday met with student leaders at a round-table discussion in Johannesburg where he apologised for his “students must fall” comment.

Nzimande had come under massive criticism after a video emerged in which he was heard saying if students don’t accept his offer regarding a proposed university fee hike, he will start a campaign against the students.

“If these students don’t accept this, we will start our own movement, students must fall,” he said while laughing loudly in the video clip.

Fort Hare SRC president Busisiwe Mashiqa on Thursday confronted the minister.

“We’re in the midst of something serious regarding our future and you found a joke in it,” said Mashiqa, who was with other student leaders attending a round table discussion about student issues.

She demanded an apology from him. Responding to this, Nzimande referred to her in Nguni, saying: “Noma kufiwe, kuyahlekwa,” loosely translated “Even when there is death, there is laughter.”

Nzimande said his comments should not have been taken seriously.

“It was a joke and I was joking with student leaders. I was not even aware that the cameras were on,” Nzimande said, adding that the students­ had first joked with him, saying they would start their own #BladeMustFall campaign.

“I cannot be minster of higher education and ask for the students to fall.

“If anybody was offended, I apologise unconditionally,” Nzimande said.

He jokingly added that the students should call for eNCA to stop airing the clip in which the comment was made. — News24.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Is social media doing more harm than good?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, our children are exposed and we can't protect them
49% - 4977 votes
Yes, but social media is part of the new reality
45% - 4588 votes
No, it's great for growing a child's world view
5% - 521 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.05
-0.1%
GBP/ZAR
19.84
+0.8%
EUR/ZAR
17.05
-0.3%
AUD/ZAR
11.01
-0.4%
JPY/ZAR
0.13
-0.3%
Gold
1,836.17
+0.3%
Silver
27.31
-0.5%
Palladium
2,958.47
+1.0%
Platinum
1,250.27
-0.5%
Brent Crude
68.28
+0.3%
Top 40
62,389
-0.3%
All Share
68,377
-0.2%
Resource 10
72,112
+0.9%
Industrial 25
85,665
-1.4%
Financial 15
12,740
+0.2%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo