Hid­den agenda be­hind NMMU protests: SRC pres­i­dent

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Feature/worldwide -

PORT EL­IZ­A­BETH — Stu­dent protests at NMMU are be­ing driven by ex­ter­nal par­ties, the univer­sity’s SRC pres­i­dent said yes­ter­day.

Ni­cholas Ny­athi said he and other mem­bers of the DA Stu­dents’ Or­gan­i­sa­tion (Daso) had been re­ceiv­ing threats fol­low­ing their at­tempts to calm protests down over the past few days.

He was ad­dress­ing about 170 stu­dents, par­ents and lec­tur­ers in the au­di­to­rium of the Nel­son Man­dela Bay City Hall.

“I will prob­a­bly get shot for say­ing this, but I re­ceived an SMS from an­other stu­dent leader, which said ‘Nick, we need to get the taxi as­so­ci­a­tions in­volved. As pres­i­dent, you need to en­sure that the taxi driv­ers get the ten­der for shut­tles’,” he claimed.

Ny­athi asked that he be al­lowed to ad­dress the group while re­main­ing seated as he was dizzy from lack of sleep, due to threats against him and the Stu­dent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Coun­cil.

There had been fall­out be­tween the SRC and Nel­son Man­dela Metropoli­tan Univer­sity’s #FeesMustFall move­ment, which claimed to be an apo­lit­i­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The NMMU #FeesMustFall Move­ment lead­ers said the SRC no longer rep­re­sented their in­ter­ests.

Dur­ing a meet­ing with stu­dents on Fri­day, SRC rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Daso mem­bers were asked to leave a meet­ing of #FeesMustFall move­ment mem­bers.

Since then, a pe­ti­tion had ap­par­ently been cir­cu­lat­ing among stu­dents call­ing for the SRC to be dis­banded.

The SRC wanted univer­sity ac­tiv­i­ties to re­turn to nor­mal as soon as pos­si­ble. Ny­athi said he had it on good au­thor­ity that there were in­di­vid­u­als who were be­ing funded to in­cite stu­dents to protest.

While on 2nd Av­enue dur­ing clashes with po­lice last week, he said he needed air­time to call the po­lice com­mis­sioner.

“I was told, ‘don’t worry about air­time. There are peo­ple fund­ing us’,” he claimed.

Ny­athi said the SRC had pro­posed that stu­dents march to Flo­rence Matomela House, the cur­rent ANC head­quar­ters in Nel­son Man­dela Bay, but the move had been blocked.

“The lead­er­ship wanted to march on the Board­walk, they wanted to go in­side the stores, or­der food and not pay for it,” he said.

While Ny­athi was ad­dress­ing the group in­side the au­di­to­rium, stu­dents gath­ered out­side and de­manded to be let in. The stu­dents, many wear­ing Sasco and EFF-branded cloth­ing, ar­gued with po­lice and se­cu­rity guards that they also had the right to be heard.

The group of around 200 stu­dents then waited on Vuy­isile Mini Square out­side the City Hall for their lead­ers to ad­dress them.

When the meet­ing in­side the au­di­to­rium ended, Ny­athi and other SRC rep­re­sen­ta­tives tried to ad­dress the stu­dents out­side. They re­fused to lis­ten and sang over him.

The SRC then moved onto the NMMU 2nd Ave, cam­pus where they again ad­dressed stu­dents. — Sapa CAPE TOWN – The ANC yes­ter­day sent its “rev­o­lu­tion­ary well wishes” to Win­nie Madik­izela-Man­dela as she cel­e­brated her 80th birth­day.

ANC spokesper­son Zizi Kodwa said Com­rade Win­nie was a “fear­less free­dom fighter, stal­wart of our move­ment and mother of the na­tion”.

She re­mained the em­bod­i­ment of the re­silience and tenac­ity of South Africans. “As a move­ment and a peo­ple, the ANC owes an enor­mous debt of grat­i­tude to Cde Win­nie and her gen­er­a­tion of free­dom fight­ers who were an un­shake­able mark and un­wa­ver­ing beacon of hope dur­ing the dark­est days of our his­tory.”

She was res­o­lute when the re­lease of po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers, the re­turn of ex­iles and free­dom seemed un­re­al­is­tic. “Her self­less­ness and ded­i­ca­tion kept the vi­sion of free­dom alive and added fur­ther pres­sure which ul­ti­mately saw the de­feat of the apartheid regime.” The party wished her health and many more years of life. Madik­izela-Man­dela was born in the Eastern Cape in 1936. Cel­e­bra­tions for her mile­stone started ear­lier this month, with a birth­day din­ner at the Mount Nel­son Ho­tel in Cape Town, at­tended by po­lit­i­cal big­wigs such as Cyril Ramaphosa and Julius Malema.

This was fol­lowed by a con­cert in her hon­our at the Artscape Theatre.

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma thanked her yes­ter­day for re­main­ing un­wa­ver­ing in stand­ing with the poor and down­trod­den.

“We are grate­ful for the gift of your life. We wish you a happy, warm, en­joy­able birth­day to­day. May you have many more and con­tinue to serve as an in­spi­ra­tion to the whole na­tion, es­pe­cially the youth,” he said.

Mean­while, Madik­izela-Man­dela said vot­ing on Wed­nes­day made her remember “those who are no longer with us”. — Sapa

Stu­dents protest over tu­ition fees at Nel­son Man­dela Metropoli­tan Univer­sity in Port El­iz­a­beth, South Africa. — News24

Win­nie Madik­izela-Man­dela

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