Friday, September 09, 2016

ANC Statement on Student Disruption of the Fee Commission and the Destruction of University Property
7 September 2016

The African National Congress (ANC) condemns the destruction of university property and the intimidation and harassment of university leaders as part of student activism around the issue of free university education.

The burning of books and University Infrastructure is reprehensible and has no connection to the calls for free education for the poor. The burning of books is a symbolic act of anti-intellectualism. In the 1930s the German Student Union, a Nazi structure, ran a book-burning campaign, targeting books written by Jews, liberals and communists. It was a prelude to Fascism and the Holocaust.

Attacking university property and harassing university leaders is illegal and a crime. Unlawful conduct cannot be justified by the mistaken belief that burning books is an attack on white monopoly capital.

Our country must expose this vandalism, that seeks to hold universities to ransom in the name of decolonisation.

The ANC calls on students and staff at all universities to reject violence and to ensure the Fee Commission completes its work timeously.

We call on university authorities to be vigilant and call on students to protest lawfully and to direct their activism through appropriate university and political structures.

The ANC is confident that a solution will be found to ensure that no young person from a poor family is denied higher education. We urge the government to determine a solution that ensures those who can afford to pay fees do so and those who do not have the financial means are supported by state resources.

Issued by
Naledi Pandor
Chairperson: ANC NEC Sub-Committee on Education and Health

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