Student Protest – Is Your Patience Also Running Out?!

2016-10-11 07:13

burning bookI was a university student, back in the 70’s, and although I didn’t participate in any protests at that time (my father prohibited me from doing so!), those students who did the protesting DIDN’T torch libraries, buildings and buses, nor sling rocks/bricks at police, nor intimidate other students into protesting, nor loot shops/stores – but these very peaceful protests would, nevertheless, be broken up extremely harshly - through the appropriate use of tear-gas, police dogs and sjamboks – but that, of course, was in the Apartheid era.

Reverting to the current student unrest, us citizens are forced to watch, helplessly, as the days and weeks go by – we see no effective intervention by the State to bring law and order to our campuses – we see private security guards trying to defend university property whilst being bombarded with bricks and rocks, we see police taking random pot-shots at students with shotguns loaded with rubber bullets … interspersed with the odd explosion of stun grenades – we see students running in all directions, I suspect enjoying the break from having to attend lectures and no doubt excited at the thought of not having to write end-of-year exams!

How sad … how disgraceful!!

Given this anarchistic behaviour, I fail to see how any reasonable-thinking South African citizen can have the slightest pity/sympathy for this student rabble – it’s effectively our hard-earned taxes that they are burning and destroying – let alone the vast amount of taxes that would be wasted following the loss of an academic year!

One needs to ask the question “who is controlling our universities right now?” – the students and their allies (certain political groupings, I suspect) certainly appear to have the upper hand, and have had so for far too long!

Is the political will there to bring this campus unrest under control and save the 2016 academic year? Based on the continued lack of involvement of our Nation’s leaders, it would appear not!

Given the State’s vast resources, I would suggest the following:

- Convert existing army barracks into temporary “holding facilities” (the troops would be ordered to move to tented accommodation) – these should already be secure facilities with fencing, guard towers/huts etc

- Police to go, in force, onto the various campuses and start arresting those who are participating in the unrest – proper, military-style, strategy should be employed ie surround, advance, and arrest!

It may take some time, but the message may get through to other universities, in the country, that the State “means business”!

- Charge the arrested students, as required by law, and transport them to the “holding facilities”, where they will be kept under guard until the conclusion of the academic year (subject to the legal requirements of court appearances etc) – at that point in time the State can decide which students will have charges against them dropped (and therefore they will be released) and which students require their charges to be pursued through to prosecution.

I must assume that this can all be legally done?

No doubt, the “do-gooders”/liberal left will cry foul at my suggestion, but by following this relatively simple plan we will be ensuring that the rights of students who want to study, and further themselves, are protected.

The State really needs to move very quickly to resolve this – the loss of an academic year is close at hand and will be catastrophic for the lives of hundreds of thousands of students and their families, and for the whole SA economy – with the adverse effects of this being be felt for many years to come!

But there’s one question that really needs to be answered: “WHERE ARE OUR NATION’S LEADERS?”

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