Wits students to seek support from Cosatu

Students march at Wits University's main campus.



Wits students will march today, 23 September, to Cosatu House where they will seek assistance in their bid for free education.

Former Wits SRC president, Nceba Dlamini, who led the protest for a 0 per cent fees increase last year, stepped in to lead the protest after being asked to do so by students who did not have confidence in the leadership of this year’s protest.

“The police is not our enemy, our enemy is the ANC-led government, our enemy is the black government which is failing to prioritise black bodies. We refuse to fight the police, they must also refuse to take illegal orders from whoever is issuing the order to shoot peaceful students, and unarmed students, that is an illegal order,” Dlamini said as he addressed students on campus.

The protest erupted on 19 September after the Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, announced that universities could increase fees up to 8 per cent which the students rejected.

Lectures at the university have since been suspended after the protest became violent. Police were called in to monitor the situation and threw stun grenades and fired rubber bullets at the students.

On 20 September, students threw stones at private security officers and police officers as they attempted to gain entrance to the Solomon Mahlangu House and left the steps of the Great Hall littered with stones.

Wits SRC, secretary-general Fasiah Hassan has condemned the police for their use of excessive force against the students, adding that they will not stop the protest until university is accessible to all. “We are trying to look at strategies and possible ways for us to prevent the violence going forward,” Hassan said.


Related Articles:

GALLERY: Police shoot at protesting students, two more arrested 

GALLERY: Protest for free education turns violent

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