FAO : News Editors and News Wires
For Immediate Release
Johannesburg, 22 October 2015
AZAPO’S STATEMENT ON THE CURRENT STUDENTS’ REBELLION AGAINST FEE INCREASES
AZAPO reiterates its full support of the call by Black students against universities’ fee increases for 2016. AZAPO further calls on students, parents, workers, communities and all freedom-loving people of South Africa to support and demand the only lasting solution to the problem, namely, free higher education for all.
We call on the President, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Higher Education to realize that finance for higher education, as for all education, is an investment, not a cost! For this reason, immediate and urgent action on the fees matter is a policy action of utmost importance.
AZAPO deplores the continued apartheid style response of the ANC government’s police and other law enforcement agencies. The Police brutality used in handling civic action like the student protests, the killing of Andries Tatane, in Ficksburg, the killing of Black mineworkers of Lonmin in Marikana, is Verwoedian in character and underscores a deep seated disdain for Black people and the working class of this country.
We also appeal to mainstream media to desist from criminalising black discontent by characterising the expression of discontent as ‘violent’ or ‘hooliganism’. This type of characterisation doesn’t just seek to reinforce the white supremacist notion of inherent black criminality, but also seeks to make the use of police brutality a normal way of responding to black discontent. This approach has had deadly consequences for Black people the world over, and more dramatically in the United State of America.
AZAPO identifies two culpable centres at which Black students’ anger should be directed: incompetent Universities’ managements and leaders and ANC government. The latter for their reactionary and ineffectual higher education policies the former for dismal mandate failure.
Fee increases at universities are not only an attack on students’ right to higher education but in fact are an assault on whole families and communities who are already heavily burdened by a mismanaged economy.
AZAPO, therefore, calls on all components of the liberation movement and the black community to join the struggle of Black students and ensure that their momentum is used to address the broader issues of black people like landlessness, economic inequality and general deprivation. AZAPO further calls for an urgent crisis summit of all progressive forces that will look at inter alia the policy options for the implementation of free higher education.
End of Statement
Issued by the President of AZAPO , Professor Itumeleng Mosala
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