Students at Fort Hare University’s Alice campus who have been protesting for some days now, have called out on President Jacob Zuma to come and feed them saying they are hungry.
The university which now celebrates its 100 years anniversary, has on Friday been faced with mass protest by students who demanded that the university authority as well as the Zuma-led-government provide answers to their requests.
The students barricaded the main entrance at the University of Fort Hare, saying they will not allow proceedings to continue until their demands are met.
Speaking further, Fort Hare SRC’s Rawane Alice campus, Thandikhaya Mathokazi, said Zuma could not celebrate while students were hungry. According to him, those of them who do not live in residence on campus should be allowed to recover allowances for accommodation and transport before the end of the semester
“We ask the president to talk to the vice chancellor. We want food. We are hungry. We want our transport allowances. We want our accommodation allowances. Even if they brutalize us, we are not going to back off,” SRC leader Bulali Rawane said.
President Zuma alongside the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who is also Forte’s Fort Hare alumnus Zimbabwean, were expected to grease the University celebration but had to gain entrance into the venue through an alternative door as the protesters barricaded the university’s main entrance.
“They cannot celebrate while students are hungry outside. The president must come and feed us,” he said
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The protest later turned chaotic as most of the students did not want Rawane to speak on their behalf. A strong police presence monitored the students while they sang struggle songs, with some chanting, “we are hungry, we want food”.
Zuma is said to be the keynote speaker, while Mugabe will deliver a message of support.