FORMER President Jacob Zuma has responded to utterances by Higher Education Minister Dr Blade Nzimande on the issue of free higher education in the country, according to the SABC News.
Nzimande said if it wasn’t for the former President who announced in Nasrec during the African National Congress (ANC) National Elective Conference that the ANC policy on free higher education will be realised, there wouldn’t be such turmoil at the country’s universities.
But Zuma says he finds this shocking because free higher education is an ANC policy and has to be implemented. He spoke at his home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, during a visit by the ANC Women’s League yesterday.
The league was the latest to visit Zuma, after many others who have been visiting the former president.
Addressing the issue on Nzimande, Zuma says, “Tell him I said, he must stop being naughty. It’s not a minor thing, to seeing students being shot dead, while they are fighting for a good course. How do we even explain that a person dies for fighting for what is right because an ANC government is failing to implement that. That is why I am asking you to talk to him, not me because I might use harsh words.”
This is not the first protest around the fees at the university. In 2015, classes were suspended at Wits after students staged a sit-in rejecting the proposed tuition hike of 10.5%. That was the beginning of the #WitsFeeMustFall protest. Below is the infographic on protests at Wits University.
Meanwhile, representatives from various organisations, Friday night, held a candlelight vigil in Cape Town for 35-year-old Mthokozisi Ntumba who was shot dead allegedly by police during a protest by Wits university students on Thursday.
Ntumba was not part of the student action.
A group that includes students, learners and workers representatives gathered at the Grand Parade in the CBD also to show solidarity with students that are fighting against financial exclusion.
Cwayita Wenana from Equal Education explains said, “We unite with students in high education. We unite with other people fighting in other sectors to be in solidarity with students and the cadre who lost his life and also to say we want better from our government we want them to fix and fund our schools, but government has done the opposite they have taken money away from all of us.”