WATCH | #FeesMustFall then and now: Activists reflect on trauma, sacrifice and what's next

12 October 2020 - 13:05 By TimesLIVE

“You don't realise you were traumatised until you are kind of looking back,” reflects Jordan Peters, a former University of Cape Town law student and FMF activist.

October marks five years since the beginning of the nationwide #FeesMustFall protests. The journey has been a long one, filled with trauma and loss, according to those who were part of the movement.

Some students who were involved are yet to complete their studies, not only because of a lack of funding but also because they had to repeat modules or academic years due to failing.

Thirty-year-old Moeletsi Sekgololo from Tshwane University of Technology attests to this.

“You can't do two things at once. You can't champion student issues and also pass in class,” he says, adding: “Sometimes being a comrade is not nice.”

Busisiwe Seabe, 25, a master's student at the University of Witwatersrand, led the protests on campus. She reflects on death and loss. Having been shot five times, she questions whether the sacrifices were worth it.

She says she no longer cries, as all her tears were “left in the movement”.

While various campuses have begun to take strides to transform higher education, the goal to have decolonised, free and quality higher education across the country is yet to be met.