South African Students Congress

A distant clap of thunder - Free Education protests: Aluta Continua

4 March 2010

Just like the sounds of thunder warning from afar, our protests in some of the institutions shook the very foundations of capitalist society and its conception that education should be the preserve for the rich and sent warning shots to government and the private sector that the current accumulation regime cannot continue at the expense of free education.

Of course the ruling class responded arrogantly to our protest with suggestions that it is "irresponsible". The only thing "irresponsible" is the continued exclusion of the poor majority from institutions of higher learning.

We commend those of our structures that responded diligently to this call and led courageous protests despite threats issued by institutions to them yesterday. We are proud of our structures that soldiered on regardless of police brutality, particularly in the University of Johannesburg.

We are not surprised that the most untransformed institutions responded to this noble call by connecting their hotlines to the police, whose mandate is to safeguard the criminally acquired property of the rich above human lives. We condemn the consistent intimidation of peaceful protesters by violent and trigger-happy police, who are failing to arrest criminals but are more than willing to arrest student leaders.

Our free education protests in campuses will continue tomorrow until our President (Mbulelo Mandlana) delivers a memorandum in a march to Parliament tomorrow midday. We call on all institutions to desist from intimidating students and our members in particular as an attempt to curb these protests. As we said, none of our protests should and will be violent.

We also condemn the reactionary ANCYL branch of Doorfontein who instead of joining our protest decided to intimidate our members from participating in the protest. This branch acted outside of the expectations of its own leaders, who surely support our call for free education. The hyenas dressed in Youth League skin need to be sorted out before they contaminate the ANCYL as an organization.

For details Contact

Mbulelo Mandlana (President)
071 879 3408
Lazola Ndamase (Secretary General)
082 679 8718