Go back home, EFF tells Unisa students

The Unisa campus was closed on Thursday leaving students frustrated. Photo: Jonisayi Maromo

The Unisa campus was closed on Thursday leaving students frustrated. Photo: Jonisayi Maromo

Published Jan 14, 2016

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Pretoria - “You must go back home, registration will not be open today,” Economic Freedom Fighters president of the Student Command Mpho Morolane ordered numerous returning and prospective University of South Africa (Unisa) students gathered at the Sunnyside campus in Pretoria on Thursday.

“We are advising you that you go home. We will communicate with you through the media and social networks regarding when this registration will be open,” said Morolane, who spoke through a loudhailer.

“It (the registration) will be incumbent upon us, not the ANC Youth League, Sasco or Nehawu. We are the ones going to determine when this registration will open. Peacefully, go home, we will contact you.”

Moments later, students started leaving the campus.

Morolane said the strike was double-pronged.

Read: Unisa protesters threaten to disrupt SONA

“Firstly, we are protesting because we want access to free education and now. Secondly, we are also saying there should be an implementation of insourcing (of Unisa work) now. University management are benefiting from the companies they hire, through outsourcing, to give services to the university,” Morolane claimed.

Asked how the outsourcing affected Unisa students, Morolane responded: “in the event that my mother is a cleaner at the university, it means she earns R2, 500 per month. With that money, you can’t even afford to buy groceries and other household needs. That is how students are affected. These mothers you see here are are parents to children who want to access institutions of higher learning”.

Morolane said “the struggle for free education is intertwined with the workers struggle for insourcing of Unisa services”.

He said the EFF wants the protesting Unisa staff, comprised mainly of security personnel, gardeners and cleaners workforce to be employed permanently.

More Unisa students arrived after the campus was closed. They said they had hoped to finalise their registrations. Several cars were parked on Justice Mahomed Street adjacent to the campus.

Beaulah Masango complained that she would not be able to find time to return to Unisa on another day to register.

“Do these young people realise that they are dicing with our futures. I am disgusted. This is similar to holding us at ransom. I only had asked for a single day off,” she said before leaving the campus.

On the other side, the protesting staff kept singing and dancing near the closed entrance.

One protester, who requested to be identified only as Shoboro, said “this protest will never end as long as there is no agreement”.

“We are fighting the outsourcing. We are representing thousands of our colleagues across Pretoria. This protest will continue as much as it takes,” said Shoboro, who wore an EFF beret.

The protesters sang: “Uyadelela (You have no respect) Makhanya …” in apparent reference to Unisa vice chancellor Professor Mandla Makhanya.

ANA

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