NMMU student leaders fail to agree on #FeesMustFall, SASCO calls for shutdown

SEPTEMBER 20, 2016

Update 09:00: Students have blocked North and South Campuses following a mass meeting last night and in line with a national call to close all universities following the Minister's announcement yesterday.

We are monitoring the situation and will keep you posted as to the unfolding events.


The South African Students' Congress (SASCO) at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) on Tuesday morning released a statement saying that it notes with concern, the collapse of both the SRC Mass Meeting and the subsequent stakeholders' meeting between the leadership of the different student formations on how to respond to Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande's fees recommendations.

"NMMU students, student leadership, and the student representative council met at the South Campus Auditorium to discuss a way forward, as a response to the pronouncement made by the Higher Education Minister.

"Unfortunately, even though there was general consensus on the core issues raised, the mass meeting concluded with disagreements with regards to the mechanism in which we would then carry the way forward," SASCO said.

"There were conflicting views on party representation, on which we as SASCO dismissed as partisan and as such divisive to the general student populace. It is at that point where the meeting collapsed and necessitated a follow up meeting comprising of all student leaders across board in an attempt to iron out all differences and unite the NMMU student body.

"In the follow up meeting we all agreed on the SRC being the neutral structure, that would be better placed to act as the mouthpiece of all our collective views, but attitudes shifted when we then discovered that the SRC was driving us to a certain conclusion that was out of line and to the extreme even contradictory to the general agreement of the meeting."

The organisation said that the meeting felt that the Democratic Alliance Students Organisation (DASO) -led SRC was intentionally avoiding resolving on an institutional shutdown, but was instead engaging on delay tactics and as such putting the call for free quality education in jeopardy.

"As student leaders from across political and social groupings we then decided that the SRC would have to meet us at the gates, as we are no longer willing to delay the call for free education. We therefore now stand united under the generational cry of Free Education now, because tomorrow will be too late!" SASCO said.

"In following the resolution made by all progressive political parties and student leaders of different societies and groupings, as the South African Students' Congress, we call upon all students to join the shutdown of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in rejecting any form of fee increment and extending the call for the immediate dissolution of the so called presidential commission on free education which in our view is nothing but a delay tactic on the expense of poor students who remain uncertain about the future."

SASCO called for students to meet at NMMU boom gates, South Campus at 7:00 am.

In August, SASCO-led #FeesMustFall related disruptions that saw the NMMU being closed for a number of day.

On Monday, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) said that it welcomes Nzimande’s announcement, which essentially gives universities direction in dealing with the university fee issue going forward.

Violent confrontations have already been witnessed at Wits University and University of Cape Town where students have shutdown campuses.