15 November 2017

South Africa: Have the Students Just Been Handed a Debt Sentence?


It has been a long two years since the inception of #FeesMustFall, fighting the double-headed beast of state actors that have either used silence or used the movement as a political football in response. By TARRYN NAUDE.

As a former student who has been a body within the mass of student activists, there have only been two notable government responses for me prior to the Heher Commission, the first being the infamous picture of the previous Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, looking trapped, perplexed and fearful behind the bars of the parliamentary precinct as he stared at the student collective on 21 October 2015. The second was the quick-fix politically opportunistic pacifier that was the zero percent fee increase for 2016.

The economics of the 752-page findings of the Heher Commission will be unpacked on many platforms by actors from numerous factions, but what are the feelings and responses to this proposed fee structure of some of the students, particularly those comrades who have been breathing the stun-grenaded air on the ground since the inception of the #FeesMustFall movement?

Many student activists have always been cognisant that government and university managements will attempt to demobilise the unity of the...

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