THE #FeesMustFall movement of South African students completed a full year this October, shutting down most prominent educational institutions. The movement challenges high fees – and the related issues of structural racism. Black South Africans only account for around 25 percent of those studying at universities and high fees threaten to push Black students out further.
Protesting students have demanded a roll back of decisions to hike fees, and have targeted the ruling African National Congress after ANC leaders in parliament said that education could not be “a free for all.”
The movement has faced severe police brutality when they marched on the Government’s Union Building on October 20. One of its leaders from Johannesburg Shaeera Kalla, hospitalised on October 20 after being injured by rubber bullets, wrote on her Facebook page: “Even as we sit in hospital beds and others languish in prisons, I take strength from students across the country who are continuing the fight. Onwards and Upwards. Towards the immediate realisation of free, quality and decolonized education now.”
The students have called on South Africa’s people to protest “the apartheid tactics that are being used, to speak out against the violations and brutality”.