ANALYSIS | The puzzle of student protests: An unresolved battle

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University students protest. (Eugene Coetzee, Gallo Images, The Times, file)
University students protest. (Eugene Coetzee, Gallo Images, The Times, file)

An opportunity to find a lasting solution to student demands was missed during the protests that led to universities' nationwide shutdown in 2015, writes Sethulego Matebesi.

Unresolved conflict is not only highly destructive but has a nasty way of rearing its head repeatedly.

What follows each episode in the vicious cycle of unresolved conflict are attempts – literally and, at times, deliberately – to peddle promises that are impossible to fulfil. The current student protests in South Africa is an example of a problem that seems impossible to resolve but has simple and obvious solutions. Despite the overwhelming agreement that students' demands – centred mainly on financial aid and academic exclusion – are genuine, finding real solutions seems elusive.

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