Godi gives stu­dents sup­port

Se­nior MP backs pick­et­ing Par­lia­ment

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - SOYISO MALITI

A HIGH-RANK­ING mem­ber of Par­lia­ment has stepped into the fray be­tween stu­dents and the CPUT ad­min­is­tra­tion and ad­vised them to con­front their new chan­cel­lor, Thandi Modise, in Par­lia­ment.

Themba Godi, chair­per­son of the stand­ing com­mit­tee on public ac­counts, was ad­dress­ing a stu­dent meet­ing at the univer­sity’s Cape Town cam­pus yes­ter­day.

He en­cour­aged stu­dents to ar­range ei­ther a picket of Par­lia­ment or a meet­ing with Modise, the Na­tional Coun­cil of Prov­inces chair­per­son, to dis­cuss the is­sues af­fect­ing stu­dents and work­ers.

“Col­lec­tively, you must tell your chan­cel­lor, in Par­lia­ment, what it is that you want,” he said.

Godi stressed that the strug­gles of stu­dents and out­sourced work­ers could not be sep­a­rated.

Free ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion needed to be im­ple­mented be­cause oth­er­wise work­ing class families would find them­selves “in an end­less re­lay race” of poverty.

“So the so­cio- eco­nomic power re­la­tions en­gi­neered by the white mi­nor­ity rule will con­tinue end­lessly with­out any change.”

Last month, Stu­dent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Coun­cil (SRC) chair­per­son Ayakha Magxothwa, along­side three other stu­dent lead­ers, was sus­pended by the the univer­sity for “con­duct­ing them­selves un­law­fully”, among other charges.

Yes­ter­day’s meet­ing came af­ter clashes be­tween stu­dents and se­cu­rity guards at the City Edge res­i­dence on Thurs­day.

Stu­dent lead­ers who re­fused to be named for fear of ac­tion by the univer­sity, said their griev­ances in­cluded the re­in­state­ment of a sys­tem of fi­nan­cial ex­clu­sion; the univer­sity’s de­mand for up­front pay­ments from stu­dents; and vic­tim­is­ing stu­dents who raised is­sues.

Work­ers said they wanted to be in­sourced and that CPUT needed to stick to agree­ments. They said the lo­gos in their pay slips had sud­denly changed from that of CPUT to a pri­vate com­pany.

Godi said he sup­ported the con­cept of free ed­u­ca­tion.

The ar­range­ment of NSFAS,the govern­ment fund­ing scheme f was tem­po­rary. “It’s not a so­lu­tion. The only so­lu­tion is free ed­u­ca­tion, which must be qual­i­ta­tive and de­colonised.”

Ad­dress­ing work­ers, Godi said the rea­son uni­ver­si­ties had not in­sourced en­tirely was be­cause govern­ment lead­ers had busi­ness in­ter­ests in out­sourced com­pa­nies. One ex­am­ple was a cam­paign man­ager of pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Cyril Ramaphosa, who owned a univer­sity-out­sourced com­pany.

Godi promised to ap­proach the Depart­ment of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing.

‘NSFAS is not

He urged the stu­dents and work­ers not to re­lent in their strug­gle. “Stu­dents must never be­tray the work­ers in pur­suit of their own in­ter­ests be­cause you will be­tray them (in the cor­po­rate sec­tor) too.”

Ad­dress­ing the mass meet­ing, Magxothwa made Bi­ble ref­er­ences, likened him­self to Je­sus and said: “Sus­pended or not sus­pended, I’m still the fa­ther of this house.”

He re­mained the chair­man of the SRC and would con­tinue his fight for free ed­u­ca­tion. CPUT spokesper­son Lau­ren Kans­ley said she could not dis­cuss Magxothwa’s case as it was sub ju­dice. She re­jected claims by the work­ers that they had been out­sourced. Kans­ley said the clash on Thurs­day be­tween stu­dents and se­cu­rity guards at the City Edge res­i­dence had caused “lim­ited dam­age”.

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