Welcoming the resumption of classes in some of the universities across South Africa, the Minister of Higher Education and Training remarked that aim of the violent protests associated with the FeesMustFall Campaign is regime change.
Minister Blade Nzimande again, condemned the violence and destruction of property associated with the protests.
According to him, the horrific scenes of a bus being torched and the looting of shops is a clear demonstration that criminality has infiltrated student’s genuine demands.
Such kind of behavior only serves to undermine the legitimate call by students for free education for the poor, Nzimande warned.
The Minister said he’s now increasingly being convinced that the agitation is more than just about fees.
He said: “…throwing stones, destruction and so on…are not suppose to be taken place at our universities. I’m increasingly now becoming convinced that this is more than just about fees. There are now other political agendas using what has been a legitimate struggle by students…
“What’s going through my mind is that this is not an issue about fee, there’s a political agenda here to try and cause discontent in South African society by those whose aim is regime change.”
The Minister cautioned that the violence can fatally and permanently damage the FeesMustFall campaign.
“There are elements of people fanning the inter-union rivalry like in Marikana. The EFF is visible everywhere in these activities taking place and these activities seems to be well coordinated…and relatively well funded,” the Minister told eNCA.
In a separate statement, Mr Blade expressed that his department is grateful for all efforts by stakeholders who have been involed in engagements in campuses.
“As we have said before, access to higher education, especially for the poor, is a societal problem. The only way to salvage the situation is commitment to dialogue.
“Government remains committed to provide no fee and free education to the poor, however this must be subjected to a process, as led by the Presidential Commission chaired by Justice Jonathan Heher,” Nzimande remarked.