The #FeesMustFall movement is gaining momentum across the country again as university students continue to protest for no fee increases, and in some cases free education, for next year.
But if the ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe had his way, he would close universities to teach students a lesson.
“I’m not the minister of education. Because if I was, my first reaction would be to close them [universities] for 16 months and open them after six months, and close the residences for six months,” he said.
“After a year, people will know higher education will be important for their future. You are not doing anyone a favour by studying.”
This after fresh student protests broke out this week after Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande announced that fees can be increased next year but by no more than eight percent. It would apply only for those students who can afford it.
Yesterday in Cape Town two groups of protesters gathered outside Parliament, one demanding free education and the other for a resolution on hikes.
The peaceful gathering was organised by University of Cape Town vice-chancellor Max Price.
Students from UCT and Stellenbosch University were joined by staff members, who called for more research funding and higher salaries.
But leaders of the #FeesMustFsll movement boycotted the march and chose to sit in meetings to discuss a way forward.
Meanwhile, calm was restored to the University of the Witswatersrand, where students demand no-fee education, following days of violent clashes between students and police.