It has been normal for black universities to protest against and to agitate for change from the commodification of education throughout occupied Azania year in year out. This year, when the students of WITS (University of Witwatersrand) and subsequently UCT (University of Cape Town) joined and realigned student protests around the rallying call #FeesMustFall, they popularized the idea and consequently campuses around the country as well as the broader society began to demand real change.
The ANC entered the struggle, using it’s student movement across the country to create the narrative that ANC is championing the students struggle. In Cape Town, SASCO was mobilized to lead at UWC, CPUT and UCT. In Johannesburg, the PYA (Progressive Youth Alliance) was directed to lead in WITS. The reality is that the media focus on Cape Town and Johannesburg is not ideologically innocent. It falls in line with the ANC’s narrative of dominating the said most influential campuses, while foolishly undermining the role of black campuses.
Using their hand picked student leaders, ANC has bulldozed the autonomy of the student struggle. To this end the incidents at Luthuli House and the Union Buildings as well as at WITS were clear indications that these ANC aligned so called “student leaders” were first loyal to the oppressive ANC government before they loved the black child who still cannot afford to pay for education.
At Luthuli House, the ANC aligned PYA (from WITS) refused to march until UJ (University of Johannesburg) moved and attracted media attention. At this moment PYA, mobilised by it’s bosses at Luthuli House, arrived and created a discourse that was pro ANC. In this regard it drew attention away from Luthuli House in an attempt to elevate ANC leaders as compassionate listeners who are really concerned about student demands. Hence we witnessed the ANC’s quelling of the student struggle.
At the Union Buildings, SASCO showed refusal to agitate for the legitimate demands of the students. This refusal reflected the ANC’s total disregard for black students and their struggles and to this end a complete protection of white spaces and structures. It must be stated that in the midst of the reactionary stand of the various organizations (ANC, SASCO, PYA, EFF et al) – students defied their sell-out leaders and supported the #FeesMustFall call through brave direct action.
Post the revolutionary engagement of the TUT students at the Union Buildings both PYA (at WITS) and EFF (nationally) insulted the TUT students (including the actions of SASCO at TUT) for their unwavering commitment and direct action in furtherance of attaining “Free Quality Education For All” and an “End To Outsourcing”. Subsequently PYA (at WITS) has agreed to apologize to SASCO (at TUT). The question is, why only to SASCO at TUT? Why not to all TUT students? The reality is that the ANC has been forced by circumstances to recognize the capacity of black students (even those in ANC aligned movements) to organize and mobilize themselves directly against the ANC and its protection of whiteness. For this reason it now attempts to bring SASCO at TUT back in line, while further undermining the students’ struggle.
Late Sunday night, on 25 October 2015, PYA at WITS held a secret meeting in a room which was used by the #FeesMustFall movement to store food. The meeting was arranged with one specific purpose – to bring the SRC leaders in line with the ANC political perspective so as to quell the protest and create a narrative that applauds the ANC for championing a student victory, 0% increase! When the real black radical #FeesMustFall movement mobilized itself and entered this meeting it found a number of persons present with direct links to the ANC mother body including Jacob Zuma’s daughter Thuthukile Zuma. The video footage obtained from this encounter shows inter alia the individuals present. The SRC leaders claimed that there were no minutes to this meeting. However the minutes which were subsequently recovered clearly suggests that an “internal organisational meeting’ was in process and implicates all those present in the ANC’s anti black agenda.
Post this event, in the early hours of Monday morning (26 October 2015), the content of these minutes clearly proved the ANC’s agenda to infiltrate and destroy the student movements who are fighting for change. After many attempts country-wide by the ANC to stop the legitimate protest of the students were in vain, the ANC has now unleashed a new wave of reaction. The minutes are clear! SRC leaders are compelled to act in the interests of the ANC since they are deployed by PYA. The minutes of the meeting further indicates that the protest should be terminated and to this end the ANC should be acknowledged as being instrumental in the students achieving “victory”.
The media has failed to report fairly on the current student struggle for “Free Quality Education For All” and an “End To Outsourcing”. The media, sponsored by white capital, has not surprisingly and deliberately vilified those who continue to champion the cause for #FeesMustFall at universities like Fort Hare, TUT and many other FET colleges around the country. The media has failed to constructively look at the role that the ANC has played in its attempt to destroy the relevant movements, via propaganda, infiltration, violence and fear mongering. The media has failed the students. The media driven by the same racist capitalist agenda has failed the black person who is central to the call of #FeesMustFall!
Black First Land First recognises the black radical independent student movements for their bravery in fighting poignantly for the black child in this struggle, #FeesMustFall. It reminds students engaged in struggle that we do not praise a fish for swimming, and so revolutionaries are not praised for doing what is to be done. #FeesMustFall! Lets heed this call of the Revolution! The struggle continues! BLF calls on all student movements to remain resilient in the face of the anti-black ANC agenda and further calls on the progressive student movements to continue with the #NationalShutdown until their legitimate demands are met!
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE OF THE BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST MOVEMENT
27 October 2015
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