CityPress - - Voices - CHARL BLIGNAUT charl.blignaut@city­press.co.za

Aw­hole lot of books, films and plays will be com­ing our way that deal with the on­go­ing #FeesMustFall protests, which ig­nited on cam­puses across the coun­try in Oc­to­ber 2015. Ten­sions re­gard­ing fees had sim­mered for years, be­fore fi­nally erupt­ing into this pow­er­ful stu­dent move­ment.

While Jane Dun­can’s re­cent work, Protest Na­tion, paints the big pic­ture, the first thor­ough anal­y­sis of the stu­dent up­ris­ing has ap­peared in a new book from Wits Univer­sity Press. Called Fees Must Fall – Stu­dent Re­volt, De­coloni­sa­tion and Gov­er­nance in South Africa, it is edited by Su­san Booy­sen and fea­tures an ex­cit­ing line-up of stu­dents and lec­tur­ers giv­ing ex­pres­sion to their ex­pe­ri­ence. Writ­ers an­a­lyse the 2015 protests to de­ter­mine their ef­fect on gov­er­nance and uni­ver­si­ties.

To launch the book, City Press has part­nered with Wits Univer­sity Press to present a panel dis­cus­sion and pub­lic de­bate on the sub­ject.

The stu­dent re­volt, say the pub­lish­ers, “was an up­ris­ing against lack of ac­cess to, and fi­nan­cial ex­clu­sion from, higher ed­u­ca­tion in South Africa. More broadly, it rad­i­cally ques­tioned the so­ciopo­lit­i­cal dis­pen­sa­tion re­sult­ing from the 1994 so­cial pact be­tween big busi­ness, the rul­ing elite and the lib­er­a­tion move­ment.

“The 2015 re­volt links to na­tional and in­ter­na­tional youth strug­gles of the re­cent past, and is in­formed by black con­scious­ness pol­i­tics and so­cial move­ments of the in­ter­na­tional left. Yet its ob­jec­tives are more com­plex than those of ear­lier strug­gles.”

City Press read­ers are in­vited to at­tend the dis­cus­sion, which will be mod­er­ated by our life­style edi­tor and colum­nist Gugulethu Mh­lungu.

Although the names of the pan­el­lists have yet to be con­firmed, they will be drawn from the book’s con­trib­u­tors, namely: Gil­lian God­sell, Rek­got­sofetse Chikane, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, Re­filoe Lepere, Swankie Mafoko, David Ever­att, Lynn Hewlett, No­magugu Mukadah, Koffi Kouakou, Ho­ra­cio Zan­damela, Wil­liam Gumede, Pa­trick Bond, Vish­was Sat­gar, Pa­trick Fitzger­ald, Oliver Seale, Pundy Pil­lay, Dar­lene Miller, Thad­deus Metz and Omhle Nt­shingila.

The one con­trib­u­tor we can con­firm will be on the panel is Booy­sen, who is pro­fes­sor at the Wits School of Gov­er­nance and au­thor of Dom­i­nance and De­cline: The ANC in the Time of Zuma.

“Fees Must Fall maps the con­tours of stu­dent dis­con­tent a year af­ter the start of the #FeesMustFall re­volt. Stu­dent voices dis­sect colo­nial­ity, im­proper com­pro­mises by the founders of demo­cratic South Africa, fem­i­nism, worker rights and mean­ing­ful ed­u­ca­tion,” say the pub­lish­ers.

See you there.

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