All hell broke loose shortly after Gauteng Province announced on Tuesday that the province has been sponsoring the varsity fees for former University of the Witwatersrand Student Representative Council leader Dlamini Mcebo.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi made the announcement barely 48 hours after the student leader was nabbed by the police on Sunday for “contravening” court order on FeesMust Fall protest.
Speaking further during a media briefing at a Secondary School Intervention Programme (SSIP) in Johannesburg, Lesufi said following the arrest, he’s left with no choice but to review Mcebo’s post-graduate funding.
“We [Gauteng government] sponsor Mcebo Dlamini to study LLM and now he is in prison. I’m scared and fearing the worst. I don’t agree that we can fund somebody who wants to disrupt education.
It’s a costly amount of money. When he applied we had no idea these things would happen and now we have no choice but to review it,” the MEC said.
However, his announcement was greeted with mixed feelings. Many South Africans slammed the development; challenging the MEC to have a re-think on the matter.
Another group of people, on the other hand, supported Lesufi, insisting the province must withdraw the student leader’s funding for spearheading the destructive protests. Among Mcebo’s critics is former University of Free State (UFS) former VC Professor Jonathan Jansen.
Jansen, a vocal critic of the campaign, took to Twitter on Wednesday and slammed the province for sponsoring Dlamini’s education. The former VC described the bursary as “disgraceful” and ignoble.
Shortly after airing his mind, Jansen was baptized with many backlashes on social media. SABC’s journalist Aldrin Sampear, with the username @AldrinSampear demanded answers from the Prof.
How is Mcebo getting a bursary from GP gov disgraceful? Is it because he's leading a march for a cause even Pres Zuma & Gov call honerable? https://t.co/daM6ykKCRN
— Aldrin Sampear (@AldrinSampear) October 19, 2016
Two other people, who also demanded clarification were quickly blocked by Jonathan, in a bid to bar them from viewing his tweets.
Dlamini Mcebo, a father of two is currently facing charges of public violence, theft, malicious damage to property and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He was denied bail on Wednesday.