Who is the EFF Student Command coming for?
When the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command president Mpho Morolane announced that its members won’t be going back to class as some universities reopen‚ he also issued a number of warnings.
Morolane‚ speaking at a media briefing in Johannesburg‚ said campuses will be shut down across the country on Monday by the EFF SC‚ until free quality higher education is realised.
The country has entered week three of national protests over free education after minister of higher education and training Blade Nzimande announced that universities could hike 2017 fees‚ capped at 8%.
Morolane said the EFF SC is “coming for” people and organisations at various levels of society‚ as they attempt to deepen the crisis over fees.
“We are going to occupy strategic sectors in the country‚” he told businesses and institutions. This includes the Department of Higher Education and Training.
Morolane said that the business sector ought to get on board and show solidarity with the student struggle.
He also said police brutality‚ seen at institutions like the University of Johannesburg‚ should come to an end.
“We have seen the brutality of the private security at the University of Johannesburg and we are saying [vice-chancellor] Ihron Rensburg‚ you must know that we are not intimidated by you. In fact‚ we are coming for you.
“We are not going to allow a situation where the government tolerates and celebrates vice-chancellors who are imposing brutality on student activists in society. We are not speaking about criminals here. We are talking about students who want free quality education.”
Speaking of companies that universities source services from and which employ low-paid “insourced” workers‚ Morolane said: “They must know that we are coming for them and their numbers are limited in these institutions of higher learning. We want to restore the dignity of our parents.”
Finally to the Democratic Alliance Morolane had the following to say: “We are warning the Democratic Alliance because you are busy here perpetuating white supremacy. You are calling for your constituencies to go back to campuses because those are the people that [can] afford education in this country.
“We are saying that you mustn’t think that you have arrived because you now have hegemony in the municipalities. We must inform you that we are going to influence our mother body to say that if you continue to be ‘lastig’ (Afrikaans for difficult)‚ then you must be dealt with decisively.
“We are not going to tolerate the nonsense that is being raised by some of your MPs. They are writing that struggle for free‚ quality education is run by hooligans. It is led by people who don’t want education. All of us here‚ we want education.”
Morolane said free education should be funded by implementing education tax.
The EFF SC will engage members of the South African Council of Churches on Sunday ahead of Monday’s planned shutdown.