#FeesMustFall – SA’s school fees protests are becoming all the more violent in Johannesburg.
A recent protest which happened on Tuesday has seen the clash of the police and angry students. The security outfits used tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades to quench the protest.
A while ago, former president Thabo Mbeki had an interaction with students. They had complained about the tuition fee increment and demanded a free higher education like the ANC promised them during their campaign.
The yet unfulfilled promise and the attempt to increase school fees have infuriated students; citing that this is nothing short of exploitation and socio-economic oppression especially for less privileged South Africans who want to go to school.
Last year the nation witnessed rounds of protests based on the same matter which forced the government to abandon planned school fees increment for 2016.
SA’s school fees protest have been condemned by the ruling party; stating that the protests have endangered the security of the campuses and has equally caused the vandalization of university properties.
A witness, as well as the protest leader, recalled that Jacob Zuma’s attitude on their meeting was not encouraging.
“When we arrived the president read out a statement and then he left.”
“They are not taking us seriously. We don’t come out on the streets for fun. It’s the only way to get anyone to listen to us.”– Fasiha Hassan.
Adam Habib, Chancellor of Witwatersrand University, sees reasons with the students’ protest but advises that they tread with caution.
“Many of us actually warned about this very crisis, and that’s the dilemma we are in, so yes to the cause as a legitimate one, no to losing the 2016 academic year”.
Each time there is a student protest in South Africa, memory goes back to the 1976 Soweto Uprising where students were attacked and killed by the apartheid government over linguistic oppression in schools.
Report says that 2 students were arrested while a Wits staff member was injured from Tuesday’s violent protest .