National president of the EFF Student Command, Peter Keetse. Picture: @EFFStudents/Twitter
Johannesburg  -The EFF threatened on Tuesday that no students or staff would be allowed to work or enter if the public universities stopped walk-in applications for the current academic year.

The party was responding to a statement by Universities South Africa (USAf) which announced that all 26 institutions would not allow walk-ins.

Peter Keetse, national president of the EFF Student Command, said it was systematic exclusion to bar walk-in applications.

“If they continue with this, no one will enter those universities, including their staff - not even the cleaners and security,” he said.

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“The universities will have to come to a gentle stop. We can’t allow only those who can afford to study and neglect the have-nots. This is systematic exclusion; these students did not have time to apply.”

Keetse said the EFF was calling for all institutions to reopen all their application processes to allow those who applied prior to President Jacob Zuma’s announcement of free education for poor and working-class students.

“Everyone who is academically qualified must report to their university of choice because the president made the announcement late.

“What was the point of them applying last year when they didn’t have any means of financing their education?”

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said: “All academically deserving students must be given a chance to take advantage of the free-education declaration.

“Management in universities has always been able to amicably deal with walk-ins for as long as universities have existed. Why must this provision not be made this year when the country needs it the most?”

But DA MP Belinda Bozzoli backed the decision taken by the body representing the country’s universities. She said the EFF misunderstood how admissions work. “...Most students apply for universities while they are still in Grade 11, using those results.”

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the universities must not implement measures that would exclude the disadvantaged.

He said the universities must bear in mind that there are those who do not have access to the facilities needed to apply online.

USAf chairperson Ahmed Bawa has criticised the government’s move to announce free education and claimed that they were not properly consulted.

It also expressed concern following a call from EFF leader Julius Malema for students to turn up for enrolment. The EFF referred to Bawa’s utterances as insults to the poor and the middle class.

“He deliberately insulted the poor people,” said Keetse.

Political Bureau