South African Students Congress

Statement on development in the Post Schooling Education and Training Sector (PSET)

23 February 2016

South African Student Congress (SASCO) notes with grave concern the recent revelations of racist taunting and abuse of Black students at University of Pretoria, where 27 Black students have been harassed, violated and arrested by both the police and university authorities, it must be said that only black students are the ones being victimized, even to the shock of fellow white students who have been supporting the call for language policy changes, majority of the white counterparts remain protected and do not suffer the same brutality of the police and afri forum attacks.

This comes against the backdrop of a multitude of racist incidents at several of the historically white universities including the University of Stellenbosch, North-West University Potchefstroom Campus and the University of Free State Bloemfontein Campus amongst others.It is apparent that the racism which permeates these institutions is systemic.

It is also obvious that the racist culture at these institutions is not capable of self-healing. Apart from systemic racism, the management at several of the historically white institutions have become cocky and brazen in their behaviour.

This is racism at its best; these incidents expose our long-held view as SASCO that such university campuses embodies characters of an apartheid enclave, that continually seek to satisfy its right wing enclave boerenbond masters, that have now found a place of rest in former Afrikaner universities at the disadvantage of Black Child.

We are angered by the apartheid tactics employed by Afri-forum, a boerenbond, backwardorganization masquerading as a civil rights movement. This organization was established to preserve and protect white apartheid policies, and white privileges, enjoyed by those who were protected by an illegitimate government of the past, their actions to prevent policy dialogue on changing and transforming the Afrikaans mode of teaching to English as a medium of instructionin class, is backward and racist to say the least.

We therefore want to send a clear message to the Vice-Chancellor Cheryl de la Rey to urgentlyconsult and take radical actions with the senate‚ council and all stakeholders‚ including the Department of Higher Education‚ on the institution’s language policy , before Anti-majoritarian Fascist and Racist Afri-forum with its deployed police and security personnel slay, injures andkill our fellow black students at the University of Pretoria.

We Urge Vice-Chancellor Cheryl de la Rey to save the future of the black child in the University of Pretoria and the image of the Institution, by fast- tracking the implementation of English as medium of instruction and abolishing the Afrikaner enclaved Language before the Institution finds itself in a reputational risk.

What is happening in UP, is not different from occurrences of the University of Free State Bloemfontein Campus, where students and workers are being harassed, violated and arrested for seeking the implementation of the presidential commission on insourcing, all universities andcolleges must insource all outsourced workers in various services, to respond by calling police and not deliberating on their demands, is reneging on our agreements reached.

We further want to register our utmost disappointment on the managerial and leadership approach of Jonathan Jansen for continuing to be a colossal colonial chunk that refuses transformation to flourish at the University of Free State. We are angered to see Prof Jonathan Jansen witnessing brutality of the police force and racist agents harassing and violating the rights of workers and students who are waging a clear genuine class struggle of ending outsourcing,and racism that has managed to find space in the University of Free State, under his leadership.

SASCO calls all students to unite more than ever and to escalate their commendable battle to rid the University of Free State Bloemfontein Campus, Stellenbosch university, University of North West (Potchefstroom campus), CPUT Willington Campus which form part of the few last bastions of racism all its elements and systems used to block black students and workers fromrealizing their full potential. Jonathan Jansen and his AfriForum bosses and rented Police force must know that Working Class and Students united can never be defeated.

However, SASCO sends a message to all its members who form part of section of the studentspopulation of our University’s to refrain from expressing their genuine concerns through violent means because doing so would be to play into the hands of the rented black racist Rector, and His Management of the University to further victimize our fellow students.

Our call for free quality education has never been limited to the monetary aspect only; it extends to the unchaining of our higher education from its class and cultural orientation. SASCOs free education campaign includes curriculum transformation and cultural transformation.

We are declaring war on racism and not on each other, we are glad that our comrades at UP, UFS and other institutions have revived this dialogue; as expected, to the discomfort of the privileged. SASCO has been at the forefront of advancing transformation in institutions of higher learning. We believe these racial confrontations are at the center of South Africa’s structural design culturally and economically.

The black man is made to feel embarrassed or guilty for demanding what is rightfully theirs. The privileged want to preserve their privilege, making any discourse on transformation appear to be unreasonable. Our comrades must continue with the war on racism until we realize apartheid name changes, changes in the teaching methods and the general attitude on our campuses.

SASCO also notes protests around lack of accommodation that have erupted in various institutions, where we have seen the University marginalizing black students when allocating residences, while accommodating white international students. It must be noted to all theseInstitutions that seek prioritisation of profit through exorbitant fees required for registration, tuition, and accommodation and living expenses. These exorbitant fees required for accommodation and tuitions are exclusionary in the face of disgusting poverty that overwhelms the masses of our students.

We call on Universities and government to set out institutional targets on campus accommodation provision, in effort to curb unacceptable cases of drop outs due to both accommodation and academic reasons in our sector. Building institutional capacity andadditional beds by the presidential commission must be fast tracked; institutions must be compliant with student housing guidelines as tabled by the minister in 2013.

We lastly call on the minister to focus on college governance and management, colleges that have failed to procure books, and other learning material for teaching by now, colleges that have not issued results of last year or corrected wrong ones, collages that continues maladministration of NSFAS TEVET bursaries demonstrate lack of management and leadership, such managers must be fired for failing their duties, where councils are not excessing their fiduciary responsibilities by playing oversight, they must dissolved and placed under administration.

#WarOnRacism
#WarOnAfriforum
#WarOnWhitePrivillege

Issued on behalf of the NEC by :
President : Thabo Moloja @ 0719752224, molojathabo@gmail.com

Secretary General: Thembani Makata @ 0718752209,tembs22@yahoo.com