Students protest during Fort Hare’s centenary celebrations

18 May 2016 - 10:21 By TMG Digital


The South African Student’s Congress (Sasco) on Wednesday called for a stayaway in a bid to avert a showdown during the University of Fort Hare’s (UFH) centenary celebrations. Different political parties’s students wings at the university have this week planned to disrupt the institution’s centenary celebrations‚ which culminate with an address by President Jacob Zuma on Friday‚ demanding extra benefits for students.The Daily Dispatch reported that protesters gathered at the Student Centre on Tuesday to hand over a memorandum to management‚ demanding the release of funds for meal allowances amongst other issues.The Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command at UFH - Fort Hare EFF SC ‏@EFFSC_UFH - tweeted pictures of the march using the #CentenaryMustBurn hashtag.It also retweeted Psalm ‏@NNongqunga‚ who said: “@EFFSC_UFH we cannot be found celebrating #UFH100 years while we are hungry and without rez”‚ before appearing to announce more action on Wednesday: “EFF SC position is clear...up until all students demands are met. We will wake up and mobilize students. Let the students take the priority”.Sasco Eastern Cape coordinator Lwando Mangqishi on Wednesday appeared to want to defuse potential violence when told eNCA that his party thought a stayaway would would avert a showdown between students.The Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (Daso) said it will on Wednesday “address the media with regards to supposed mismanagement of student funding at the university of Fort Hare‚ mere days ahead of the iconic university’s centenary celebrations”.“The DA has learnt that the process regarding debt clearance and financial aid for students at the University of Fort Hare was shut down yesterday‚” Daso leader Yusuf Cassim said.“This will leave poor students without the funding that they were promised and again highlights the chronic lack of funding in higher education‚ and in particular‚ the poor financial management of this historic university.”The celebration will acknowledge the role that the university has played in educating Africans. It will celebrate the values and traditions that made the university to be Africa’s most respected institution of higher learning‚ according to the President.Alumni from Fort Hare include former President Nelson Mandela‚ ANC president Oliver Tambo‚ Botswana’s first democratic president Seretse Khama‚ President Julius Nyerere of the United Republic of Tanzania‚ Pan-African Congress leader Robert Sobukwe‚ and the first President of the Republic of Zambia‚ President Kenneth Kaunda.Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe also graduated from Fort Hare – and he is expected to attend the celebrations. - TMG Digital

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