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Sasco raises ante on free education campaign

Johannesburg -

The South African Students Congress (Sasco) is set on raising the ante on its free education campaign in September.

Sasco secretary-general Luzuko Buku and president Ntuthuko Mthombothi at Luthuli House. Picture: Matthews Baloyi. Credit: Independent Newspapers

The student organisation is planning to shut down higher education institutions in the build-up to its national march scheduled for September.

Speaking at a media briefing at Luthuli House on Tuesday, Sasco president Ntuthuko Mthombothi said the organisation was planning a week-long march set to take place from September 15 to 19.

“We’re going to have a week-long free education march… from our branches on the Monday. We’re agitating for all our branches to shut down the campuses at least for one day… Then on the Wednesday it will be the provincial marches in the eight provinces except Gauteng, because Gauteng will be hosting the national march on the Friday,” Mthombothi said.

Sasco is calling for free tertiary education, saying a tax on high-income individuals and companies benefiting from the country’s mineral wealth should fund this.

Sasco also touched on incidents of racism it said were constantly taking place at higher education institutions, saying their speaking out on racial discrimination had led to the organisation being threatened by “faceless individuals”.

“We are not surprised, neither are we intimidated by numerous calls, texts and emails from white racist and black racist apologists who have been threatening our struggle against racism and secretly attacking us for challenging racism in our institutions,” Mthombothi added.

He said the “Kill the Boer” posters that had been circulated around the University of North West’s Potchefstroom campus had been falsely attributed to Sasco in an attempt to discredit its efforts.

Sasco secretary-general Luzuko Buku said the organisation’s campaigns aimed at exposing racism were not for the benefit of a particular race.

“We’re not fighting for a particular race; we’re fighting for non-racialism in our institutions. We’re not picking a side; we’re merely saying our institutions must be transformed for everyone,” he said.

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