President Zuma is yet to release the fees commission report, which will outline the feasibility of free higher education in the country. Zuma received the report in August 2017 and has not released it as yet.

The Citizen reported on Monday that the The National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union is demanding that Zuma “immediately” release the fees commission report and that “Students are getting agitated, and we have already seen sporadic violence in institutions like the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and the University of Free State”.

RELATED ARTICLE: 6 reasons why the ‘fees commission report’ is so important to SA students

7 things you need to know about the #UFSShutdown:

1. Last Wednesday, a group of students staged a protest over fee increments for 2018. Over the weekend 36 students at the Bloemfontein campus were arrested following violent clashes between students and the police.

2. Those arrested allege they were assaulted and harassed by the police and private security as protests around the university campus continued.

3. There was concern when a student released a fire extinguisher on a senior academic in one of the classes. This led to his hospitalisation.

4. At UFS last Thursday, students handed over their memorandum to university management and disrupted a number of spaces on campus including computer labs, the university library and exam venues.

5. Protesting students were met with private security and the South African Police Services (SAPS) who brandishing batons and shields.

6. As students moved from one venue to another, singing protest songs and holding placards, SAPS warned them that they had only five minutes in which to disperse. As the crowd began to disperse the police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets, arresting over 30 students shortly after.

7. It is alleged the police also entered residences in search of protesting students. The arrested students were all released on Sunday evening. On Monday morning they appeared in court and their case has been postponed to February 2018.

8. The Student Representative Council (SRC) has asked all those who have fallen victims to the heavy-handedness of private security personnel to put their complaints in writing in order to for the SRC to lay criminal charges against the private security company.

9. In addition to the arrests, the university has suspended one of the protesting students, Bongani Mazula, and banned many others from entering campus.

10. One of the main demands made by student is that the exam timetable should be postponed by a week to give students enough time to prepare. However, the university is adamant that exams will continue as planned.

11. In a desperate move by management to make sure that the protests do not continue on Monday, the university has sent out an email stating that students who are seen taking part in protests will be provisionally deregistered.

12. The university has also indicated that students who ‘feel traumatised’ by the protests last week and who are not ‘fit to write exams’ will be given a chance to write at a later date.

13. The university has insisted that the exam timetable go ahead as planned and that adequate provision has been made for students affected by the protest. In the meantime, there is heavy SAPS and private security presence around the Bloemfontein campus.

* This article was first published on The Journalist

Categories: Education News