Black First Land First (BLF) recognises the Black Student Movement (BSM) for their unwavering commitment towards the radical transformation of Rhodes University. Despite being vilified, brutalized by the police and undermined by the vice chancellor, Dr Sizwe Mabizela, BSM has put Black First! In 2015 Black people remain last, the universities of South Africa remain untransformed and those who hold positions of power are hell bent on protecting the structural racism in this white supremacist society. Public institutions like WITS, UCT, Stellenbosch and Rhodes continue to be expressions of the anti-black education experience. The ANC Government continues to maintain white dominance and is equally consistent in its failure to protect black students, and bring about real transformation that would see black persons enjoy a space consistent with who we are as black people as well as the legacy of our ancestors. Noting the silence of opportunistic political movements, who only seem to raise their voice to gain political traction, we celebrate the Black Student Movement in its commitment to overthrowing the racist legacy of Rhodes University. They are committed to this important struggle, even when Dr Mabizela prefers to enjoy white round-table discussions while black students face ongoing racism at the very institution he leads. Dr Mabizela, even went as far as calling the police to defend this racist institution. Black First Land First denounces the oppressive nature of Dr Mabizela who seeks to silence the very voices of black students aimed at fulfilling a mandate of transformation which he is unable and unwilling to achieve. BLF calls on all black persons to support and mobilise alongside BSM, with the view to ensure that Rhodes University is radically transformed. BLF further calls on black persons to unite, putting Black First, and demand that institutions of learning become the expression of black culture, spaces where students, workers and educators can commemorate, celebrate and enjoy a black educative experience that is fundamentally Black First.
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE OF THE BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST MOVEMENT (BLF NCC)
31 AUGUST 2015
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