#FeesmustFall Student Protests Claim First Life At Wits University


As students continue to protest the recently hiked school fee for 2017, reports have it that Wits University lost one of its employees on Monday as a result of protest action at the institution last week.

The Wits university management took to Twitter to sympathize with the family‚ friends and colleagues of the university resident cleaner.

According to reports, the worker died days he was affected by fire extinguisher which was released at the Jubilee Hall of Residence by protesting students.

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He was rushed to the Campus Health and Wellness Centre and then taken to a hospital where the worker was treated for a few days before his death.

“The University has received a report that an employee of one of our service providers who worked in a residence passed away last week.

“Last Tuesday‚ students released a fire extinguisher in the Jubilee Hall of Residence‚ which affected a cleaner in the building‚” a statement from the university said.

Speaking of the death of the university worker, former student representative council president of the university of the Witwatersrand urged students to reflect on their protest methods.

Speaking on Radio 702 on Monday night, the controversial leader, Mcebo Dlamini said the #FeesMustFall student movement at Wits University plans to approach the Constitutional Court over the free education issue.

This, according to him is to ascertain whether the country’s Constitution favours the South African majority.

Dlamini also said that a strong team of legal experts which include Advocates Dali Mpofu and Sandile Khumalo‚ had been assembled to help force the government to implement free education in the country.

“We don’t want free education for Wits students only. We want free education in South Africa‚” he noted.

Meanwhile, Xola Mehlomakulu, a second-year student at the university’s Pietermaritzburg campus and a #Feesmustfall activist  had called on students to be more humane in their protest so as not to give room for the perception that they are “thugs and hooligans“.

Concerned by the increased mass destruction of university  properties, the #Feesmustfall activist said students should turn to spirituality and prayer vigils to register their protest.

“We as students condemn the use of violence or destruction of our property. We believe that the interdict is a divide and rule strategy by the university to delegitimize our concerns. It is in the interests of management that we are portrayed as thugs and hooligans.”  said Mehlomakulu.

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Mehlonakulu further noted that a number of academics and lecturers are in support for varsity students to turn to spirituality as a means of fighting for a zero-fee increase in 2017.

A prayer vigil has therefore been planned for Tuesday afternoon at the Pietermaritzburg campus.

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