Rubber bullets at NMMU shows ANC government oppression of democracy

BY Athol Trollip MPL, Mayoral candidate for Nelson Mandela Bay

The DA condemns the firing of stun grenades and rubber bullets by SAPS at NMMU students.

The students were peacefully protesting the proposed exorbitant increase of fees by the university.
The ongoing protests by students at most major universities across the country is symptomatic of a national crisis of extreme proportions, despite Minister Blade Nzimande denying this.

Students across the country, including those affiliated with DASO, have spoken out against the proposed fee increase.

The fact is that while Minister Nzimande hides, his Department is under-funding our tertiary institutions and is causing them to rely on fee increases. This is a failure of government that Nzimande refuses to address.

The DA, through DASO, has fought for the needs of students on NMMU campus and all others.  DASO at NMMU pioneered the establishment of a student debt bailout fund. This fund continues to aid financially vulnerable students to this day, and is a model for overcoming national government’s failures in funding higher education.

The SAPS as an arm of national government is now using extreme force to resist the students standing up against that same government’s education failures.

I will be arranging an urgent meeting between our DASO Constituency Leader, Yusuf Cassim MP, and the provincial police authorities to ascertain who approved and carried out these heavy-handed tactics. There must have been an operational plan and orders to fire must have been issued from the top.

The DA is committed to our democracy, the right to peaceful protest and accessible and affordable education.

 October 21, 2015
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