Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has compared the #FreeEducation student protests to a TV soap. Jairus Mmutle/GCIS
Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has compared the #FreeEducation student protests to a TV soap. Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

Nzimande says free education protests are like a TV soap opera

By Zodidi Dano, Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Mar 24, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has likened the #FreeEducation protests, which have taken place annually at the start of the year, to the US television soap the Bold and the Beautiful.

He said: "I'm concerned, every year it like a soapie now, the Bold and the Beautiful "

Nzimande made the remark which has sparked fury among many people on social media while addressing the portfolio committee, yesterday.

He called for an end to the shutdown of universities by students saying the year was already lost.

Social media users didn’t take Nzimande’s remark lightly with some even calling him “arrogant”.

Digorda tweeted: “Bo Blade Nzimande will never understand the struggles of the youth for them it’s a game that's why they can say whatever they like SA needs young leaders these old people are failing the youth,”

Blacksheep said: “You don't hold these people to account that is why they utter such rubbish.”

The past three weeks has seen a spate in student protests across the country over historical debt and funding.

At the committee meeting Nzimande stressed that the possibility of a third wave was looming. He said the academic year was facing serious problems and urged students to stop the shutdown.

“We are quite anxious that the shutdown must be called off as soon as possible because we are worried that the academic year is already short and let’s make use of all the opportunities on all sides. The sooner we start with the academic year the better,” he said.

He said the third wave could also cause more disruption to the academic year.

“I am glad that some universities have settled like UWC and a few others and Wits is close to settling because the sooner we start the academic year the better … with the prospect of the third wave which may even delay us even further,” Nzimande said.

Nzimande also expressed concern about instability at higher education at the start of every academic year.

He said this was not acceptable and said he was doing a study with the University of Zululand on this.

He said a mechanism has to be found to stop the protests at every start of the year.

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Political Bureau

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