Blade lashes out at chaos on cam­puses

Sunday World - - News -

SOUTH African Com­mu­nist Party gen­eral sec­re­tary Blade Nz­i­mande has be­seeched stu­dents not to de­stroy the coun­try’s uni­ver­si­ties but in­stead to trans­form them and de­fend the coun­try’s demo­cratic her­itage.

Re­fer­ring to the “chaos” at the coun­try’s uni­ver­si­ties‚ Nz­i­mande‚ who is also min­is­ter of higher ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing‚ said: “Let all sen­si­ble South Africans con­demn the thug­gery that we see in some of our in­sti­tu­tions.

“Those throw­ing stones and burn­ing li­braries are noth­ing more than crim­i­nals. Let the rest of the stu­dents also take a firm stand and say: ‘ No ‚ not in our name’.”

Nz­i­mande‚ who made the re­marks while de­liv­er­ing the Moses Mab­hida Me­mo­rial lec­ture in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg on Fri­day ‚ added that he wel­comed the stance be­ing taken by mag­is­trates to “lock up sus­pected thugs for seven days‚ un­til they ap­pear in court”.

“If you are ar­rested‚ in­car­cer­ated and con­victed for de­stroy­ing univer­sity property‚ you are not a hero‚ but a re­ac­tionary and coun­ter­rev­o­lu­tion­ary ‚” he as­serted. Nz­i­mande said he was also “deeply con­cerned” about the con­tin­u­ing dis­rup­tions at the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg cam­pus of the Univer­sity of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and urged both man­age­ment and stu­dent lead­er­ship to find an ur­gent so­lu­tion to this im­passe.

“To the stu­dents‚ in par­tic­u­lar‚ I say whilst you have a right to protest ‚ but this right must not be abused and mis­used to risk the aca­demic pro­gramme and aca­demic year. Please‚ go back to class while you con­cen­trate your ef­forts on ne­go­ti­a­tions with man­age­ment. Oth­er­wise de­struc­tive and vi­o­lent protests‚ as well as the vi­o­la­tion of the rights of other stu­dents‚ run the risk of com­pletely dis­cred­it­ing what­ever le­git­i­mate de­mands you may have.

“I also wish to urge par­ents to stand up and help us deal with the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. Surely‚ it can­not be that par­ents sim­ply send their chil­dren to pub­lic higher learn­ing in­sti­tu­tions and then fold their arms when aca­demic ca­reers and po­ten­tial fu­ture of those stu­dents are ex­posed to threat‚” Nz­i­mande stated.

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