Cape Town – White supremacists are behind the #FeesMustFall protests and are funding violent protest action, the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) said on Sunday.
Unathi Mtshotwana, ANCYL convenor for the Dullah Omar region, said at a press conference these “imperialists” were using students and their protests to vandalise institutions “while their children are studying overseas”.
“I have never seen a march where students are given money, food and paid to march against an institution,” he said.
Students can’t be allowed to be destructive and stand in the way of others trying to complete their studies, Mtshotwana insisted.
“We condemn the burning of libraries. Where must students study if they are burning it? Where must students live if they are burning residences? We must take action.
“White supremacists are the third force behind this. They enjoy the strikes and disruptions because they think we can’t govern and keep things civilised.”
He warned that the ANCYL would march if any protesters stand in the way of others registering for the new academic year, even offering its members to act as security.
'Champion of education'
“The ANC Youth League is the champion of education. If university management can’t protect students, they must call us. We don’t want to be paid. We can’t allow institutions to be destabilised.”
He also slammed institutions that still taught in Afrikaans, saying it disadvantaged black students and was the reason why a number of black students failed.
After a press briefing on Sunday, the ANCYL met with university student leadership at a Cape Town hotel.
Sasco president, Thabo Moloja, said the main purpose of the meeting was to “unpack, practically, the decisions made by the Department of Education and ANC NEC education sub-committee and other government formations, on the lingering student concerns, what those decisions mean for students with regards to student registration, historic debt, current year's financial obligations and the broader question of university access”.
Moloja said the meeting also aimed to discuss the problems facing the “missing middle” – those who don’t qualify for NSFAS funding but also couldn’t afford university fees.
“The ANC NEC education sub-committee has put in place a process to develop a new funding model to provide loans for students in this category and that the new funding model would be tested in the 2017 academic year for full implementation in 2018.
“All institutions have made special arrangements to cater for that particular category. The basic principle is for those students performing academically are that they will never be excluded for financial reasons.”