The Democratic Alliance (DA) has come knocking on the door of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). They are not knocking for fun neither are they knocking for a fight. All the party wants is for EFF to ‘pay for damages they allegedly inflicted at universities’.
Speaking via a statement, DA youth leader and MP Yusuf Cassim said the affected universities should not bother replacing, fixing or imposing fees on students because EFF must take care of the damages.
Damage to buildings at universities has been estimated at about R150-million. It was revealed at a news conference after talks between Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande and Vice-Chancellors of South African universities in Kempton Park on the East Rand.
From the University of KwaZulu-Natal alone, the estimate of damages is about thirty million rand.
Cassim’s statement reads:
“The EFF‚ and other radical groups including #RhodesMustFall‚ needs to take responsibility for their rogue elements by heeding their own words and helping #paybackthemoney for these damages.
During a time when tensions in the tertiary sector continue unabated for lack of leadership‚ these radical groups‚ and specifically the EFF‚ have continually incited and perpetuated violence and instability through threats of war on campuses across the country.
The DA calls on Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and other radical groups involved in the violent vandalism of our universities to help pay back money that will need to be used for the rebuilding and refurbishment at various university campuses.
Universities affected by violent students’ protests have recorded damages worth more than R150 million. Re-building these campuses, including making up for the lost-time to students, will no doubt be carried by the Universities themselves. Our Universities are already cash-strapped and inevitably the burden of paying for this brazen right-wing vandalism will be carried by the poorest of students, who are desperate to access higher education so that they can one day get a job.
The EFF, and other radical groups including #RhodesMustFall, needs to take responsibility for their rogue elements by heeding their own words and helping #paybackthemoney for these damages.
During a time when tensions in the tertiary sector continue unabated for lack of leadership, these radical groups, and specifically the EFF, have continually incited and perpetuated violence and instability through threats of war on campuses across the country.
The various groupings have been using violent and racially divisive language to communicate with students, instead of contributing towards a supported peaceful engagement between student bodies and their respective institutions of higher learning, to find sustainable solutions to the issues plaguing campuses across South Africa.
The DA has persistently called for calm and condemned violent protests, and has laid a complaint at the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) against one of the identified leader in the EFF structure, Omphile Seleke, who has incited chaos and violence and the University of Pretoria (Tuks) campus in particular.
We have also since laid criminal charges against the EFF for inciting violence on campuses relating to this same post, which set out how to make a petrol bomb. The post was shared by the EFF Student Command at the University of Pretoria.
The EFF clearly cannot be trusted to bring about the change South Africa so desperately needs. The EFF has shown greater commitment to perpetuating violence and instability, than to finding solutions to the problems that our students face on a daily basis.
The DA will continue to fight for increased access to opportunities for young people and more inclusive campuses. In doing so we will always maintain our unwavering respect for the rule of law and the Constitution and ensure that those responsible for damages foot the bill for their recklessness.”