Sasco protests at education summit

Published Oct 15, 2015

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Durban - A small group of the South African Students Congress (Sasco) picketed outside the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre as the National Higher Education Summit took place inside. The protestors called for the removal of higher education minister with one of the leaders saying “hashtag Blade must fall (#BladeMustFall)”. The students are unhappy about what they perceive to be the minister's siding with university vice-chancellors.

Sasco president Ntuthuko Makhombothi threatened that there would be similar scenes across in the country's universities to those playing out at Wits University if üniversities continued to increase fees. “We are going to ensure that we have a lockdown in these universities if we are going to be violently abused by vice-chancellors by increasing fees by more than 10 percent as we have seen at Wits University” he said.

The students were not attended to by the minister who was busy inside the summit.

The protesting students said they were unhappy with Nzimande's leadership of the department saying he has chosen to align himself with university management. One student who did not want to be named said their unhappiness with the SACP Secretary General had caused a rift between them and the Young Communist League which was not present at the march.

The protestors are demanding free education and the end of violence by the police against students during student protests in universities. The protest began in front of the ANC offices on Stalwart Simelane Road and ended at the ICC on Braam Fischer Road.

The protest comes after student uprisings have marred universities across the country from the University of Cape Town's #RhodesMustFall, to the violent protest at the University of kwaZulu-Natal that lead to a building housing securities being set on fire and the ongoing school fees protest at Wits University.

The protesters dispersed without incident after Mthombothi's address.

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