Equality

#NationalShutDown: Lessons from 1989 Tiananmen Square

I watched the evening news bulletin reporting how this current incarnation of the #FeesMustFall movement had spread to Fort Hare. I watched Fort Hare students, like students at other campuses, burn all manner of property. But what was odd in all that burning at Fort Hare, was the students throwing toilet paper all over the…

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University VCs experience the epiphany of the pointy stick

It has taken a relatively small band of petulant students to highlight the fragility of President Jacob Zuma’s African National Congress government. A protest that should have been contained and defused instead has been allowed to smoulder and grow. The wannabe revolutionaries of the Economic Freedom Front and radical activist organisations have been quick to…

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If I was a student today…

I’m not a student, but I pay the university and residence fees for one and another one to come in a couple of years, so I know how much all that costs. As a self-employed professional in the top 1% of earners it is still a difficult burden. So I know the dynamics. I cannot…

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#FeesMustFall: You cannot ask women to be vocal in public and silent in private

There are many reactions to what is happening right now. There are feelings of annoyance, anger, feelings of injustice and indifference. The selection is an emotional buffet. But one thing no one can deny is that this is the stuff of legends. Many will remember, or make up, where they were during the epic #FeesMustFall…

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Bravo students: ‘The doors of learning and culture shall be opened’

The ongoing student protests across the country confirm, unambiguously, the failure of the neoliberal system in South Africa, which requires a hefty increase in student fees every year, given the fact that universities are now part of the invidious neoliberal economic system, instead of being state-funded public institutions. And don’t tell me that it is…

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We seemed like a leaderless country yesterday. Who will stand up?

I left my office opposite Parliament (I work at the Human Sciences Research Council in Plein Street) after I heard the first stun grenade. The first thing I thought about was Marikana. I couldn’t just stand by if students — many of whom I teach — were going to be hurt by police. I followed…

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Uncomfortable about current protests? Embrace your discomfort and be part of social change

By Ahmed Riaz Mohamed We live in a country and in a democracy forged through struggle, sacrifice and protest. The recent surge in student-led protest in the country is powerfully reminiscent of apartheid-era resistance and anti-apartheid marches, rallies and sit-ins. These students are channelling the spirit of former student leaders such as Steven Biko who…

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One thing Wits can never be is on the wrong side of justice

By Mighti Jamie * These were my words to Adam Habib in January. They’re still relevant today. Dear Adam Habib One thing Wits can never be is a cold-blooded business, focusing only on the bottom line. One thing Wits can never be is a dream killer. One thing Wits can never be is on the…

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#FeesMustFall shows ‘born-free’ generation anything but apathetic

Defiant. An apt word to describe students protesting against university tuition fees over the last month. From bringing institutions to a standstill, to engaging in several hour-long meetings, disgruntled students have been unwavering in their pursuit of what they see as a fairer financial system for universities. And it went up a notch yesterday when…

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#FeesMustFall and its inherent elitism

In US politics it is often said that when you are young, if your politics is not progressive then you have no heart. However when you are old, if your politics is not conservative then you have no brain. In SA we have conservative voices that are quick to spell out inflation, budgets, costs and…

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