Wits students to launch urgent court application to ensure free education is realised

Protesting Wits students will on Friday launch an urgent court application to ensure that free, quality, and decolonised education is realised this year. This is part of the student’s ongoing protest over financial exclusion of students.

On Thursday evening, students held a candlelight vigil at the spot where 35-year-old Mthokozisi Ntumba was fatally shot allegedly by police during the student protest in Braamfontein.

The students took their march to the doors of the Constitutional Court on Thursday. They handed over a memorandum calling on the court to start playing an active role in the affairs of the country including the students’ fight for a free and decolonised education.

Wits SRC president Mpendulo Mfeka says “Free education is constitutionalised in our country, it is just not implemented. We always say its policy, its a policy, its policy…We need to start seeing active lawyers that will ensure this is put into implementation.”

The students have renamed De Beer street to Ntuma street as a reminder of what happened to the 35-year-old bystander.

Meanwhile, the ANC says its Top Six Officials will meet with Higher Education Minister Dr. Blade Nzimande to discuss challenges facing students at institutions of higher learning.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe says they have decided to intervene decisively and help address the problems confronting poor students.

“The ANC is painfully aware of challenges that confront students in our institutions of higher learning regarding funding and is determined to act decisively in finding a long-lasting sustainable solution. In the light of the latest developments, the National Working Committee held on Wednesday directed the relevant subcommittee on Education and health to convene urgently to consider and advise on possible options.”

He adds: “In addition, the National Officials of the ANC will today, Friday the 12th March 2021, meet with Higher Education Minister, Comrade Blade Nzimande, to discuss current developments. The ANC NWC is of the firm view that budget priorities should be reviewed in order to redirect the much-needed funding for the provision of necessary support in these institutions of higher learning.”

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