FEES MUST FALL, THE JOURNEY CONTINUES…
Caption: The SAPS barricading the entrance at Howard College during student demonstration.
Written by: Mfundo Mabaso
The University of KwaZulu-Natal students were called upon by their representatives to gather outside Howard College on Monday morning.
It is almost a month since the Fees Must Fall campaign began at UKZN and the struggle continues.
Students were invited for a mass peaceful demonstration outside Howard College and they were urged to bring their learning materials in order to engage in studying whilst demonstrating.
UKZN Howard College SRC, said on a letter to students, “As students of UKZN Howard College we are saying, it cannot be business as usual at UKZN while police and MI7 languish in our institution, waiting to continue brutalising us.”
According to the SRC, UKZN already has more than 40 students either with pending court cases or in jail and other students are in hospital due to injuries they incurred during protests.
Howard College student, Noluthando Shoba said, “I don’t think there is a need to be violent and burn the university however it is always the case of police officers and the securities provoking the students even students who are not part of the violent demonstrations.”
On the students list of demands is the request for government to make education free, the end of brutality on students, the end to the normalised violation against bodies of black women, and the call for immediate dismissal of Vice Chancellor Dr Albert Van Jaarsveld.
Honours student at the Howard College, Celiwe Mdletshe said, “I do not support the violence however, I do understand their grievances. With the suspension of lectures, we are going to lose a lot of time, which will affect us academically at the end of the year.”
“I think the violence demonstrated by the police was extreme; other safer measures could have been taken. The fee increment is unnecessary, already the fees are sky rocketing and we can’t afford,” added Mdletshe.
UKZN was not available for comment until the time of publishing.
A higher education stakeholder forum, which is to find solutions of the current situation at universities across the country, is currently being held in Kempton Park today.