Let expelled students study – but they need to atone first

13 September 2018 - 08:00
Students clash with police during Fees Must Fall protests.
Students clash with police during Fees Must Fall protests.
Image: David Harrison

I agree with the party of Julius Malema that the students expelled from university or awaiting criminal charges in the courts should be allowed to return to studies.

These are students criminally charged for their actions during the Fees Must Fall protests of 2015-16. Unlike Malema’s colleagues, however, I do not believe that the return to studies must be unconditional.

To begin with, the courts should hear and decide on each of the criminal cases independent of political interference. When politicians in parliament believe they can demand that charges that belong with the judiciary be overturned, then we are flirting with danger when it comes to democracy, the independence of our institutions, and the rule of law.

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