Released on South Africa’s Human Rights Day, 21st March 2016


Student protests for free education are no different from service delivery protests that characterises South Africa’s failing state. Free Education is a promise that must be kept, just like free housing, and the return of the land. These are the promises of the ANC that must be kept. A promise is a promise. Students want Free Education as promised by the ANC. People living in shacks want free housing as promised by the ANC. People want land as promised by the ANC. 21 years of democracy should have been enough for the ANC to fulfill these promises. There will be relentless protest action, until all these promises are met; it is inevitable, and evident before our eyes, that these protests will never end until all these promises have been met.

This report is an attempt to document the 2015/16-student rebellion as it unfolded at the University of Western Cape. It is not a mainstream research report, or commentary, nor a journalistic account of what happened on each day of the students’ protest but more of a high-level intelligence report of the UWC Fees Will Fall Movement. The report tells the story from the students’ perspective and glorifies the national Fees Must Fall students’ movement as a timely effort in the history of our democracy, against the backdrop of political contradictions such as corruption that has evidently swayed the attention of former liberation fighters from self-sell service to the people, to self-interests, and luxurious living against the backdrop of appalling poverty levels amongst the majority of black communities in many parts of the country.

This report is a gentle reminder to the ANC government of the power of young people to make progressive change. It is a gentle reminder that “the future belongs to us” (Mzwakhu Mbuli, 1986, The Day Shall Dawn). After reading this report, the ANC government of looters should cease to take for granted the intellect of the Fees Must Fall Movement. Furthermore, this report is a firm statement to erstwhile politicians such as Dr Blade Nzimande, that as young people of this country, we can no longer breathe under the leadership of current politicians who care less about the futures of younger generations, but themselves, cronies, and families. We will forever remain disgusted by wasteful expenditures of our politicians and government officials best manifested in the Zuma administration of looters, sycophants and mafias in bed with the ANC. The looting of state coffers by sycophants is completely unacceptable given the poverty levels in our country. As students we argue that there is enough taxpayers money to fund Free Education. Right wing economists know this very well, but will never admit that Free Education is possible because they stand to benefit from the capitalist system that continues to fail our black communities, the poorest of the poor in townships of the Cape Flats, rural communities, rural towns, urban slums, and former homelands throughout the country. The fact is, our current government is failing to use the state in benefit of the people; instead the state has turned against its own people, through institutionalized violence, especially directed to those who take it to the street in protest for better service delivery. Free Education is service delivery, as this report will show.

This report is divided into 8 chapters as follows:

Chapter 1: “Narrow conceptions of violence: student rebellion lenses” challenges narrow conceptions of violence in the context of emancipatory politics, which strongly condemns ongoing police brutality in South Africa, against the backdrop of human rights enshrined in the constitution of the Republic of South Africa. This chapter shows some images of institutionalized violence which is manifested in police brutality – some of the pictures are extremely gruesome, and have been excluded from this report for ethical reasons, but available on request, and consent of the victims of police brutality.

Chapter 2: “Criminalization of student protest action” connects the struggles of students to popular dissent in the country at large such as the infamous Marikana mineworker strike action for example, and municipal service delivery protests, including the killing of Andries Tatane by the state police in 2011. Andries Tatane will forever be our hero because he openly challenged the government of the ANC, and paid the high price for it, death.

Chapter 3: “Politics of victimization, humiliation and paranoia”, draws the attention of the reader to what seems like authoritarian practices of the South African state in its attempts to dampen popular dissent by targeting key individuals (or so-called ring leaders) or those who appear as key allies to protestors in general, and student protestors in particular.

Chapter 4: “Eviction of students from on-campus residences: The politics of racialised geographies” is an attempt to lay bare the racial underpinnings of the eviction of students from UWC residence in November – December 2015. This chapter takes the reader through some history of racialised socio-spatial engineering of the past racist regimes, and how such narrow thinking has been a painful residue or hangover inherited from apartheid, and how it shaped conceptions against the UWC Fees Will Fall Movement.

Chapter 5: “SASCO, ANC & Politics of independence in the (black) student movement” is an attempt to lay bare the political contradictions of SASCO, and how that student movement has been co-opted by the ANC. We argue that there is no SASCO, but the ANC, and we explain why we strongly believe so.

Chapter 6: “Militarisation of UWC by state and private security forces” uses UWC as a lens to raise questions about the nature of our state, and the nature of our democracy in the age of surveillance of activists by our paranoid state.

Chapter 7: “The politics of containment: Anti-student rebellion negotiations”, takes the reader through the negotiation processes that occurred between UWC Fees Will Fall Movement and UWC Management from November – December 2015. In a nutshell, this chapter argues that such negotiations were merely attempts of containment of the UWC Fees Will Fall Movement by UWC Management.

Chapter 8: Workers’ struggle against outsourcing at UWC: “The beginning of the end”, takes the reader through the efforts of UWC workers’ struggle for the end of outsourcing, which coincided with the 2015/16 student rebellion in that university. This chapter explains how these efforts reached a deadlock when it became apparent that there are strong allegations of (undeclared) self-interest, and collusion (if not corruption) between some members of UWC management and the outsourced companies at UWC. Chapter 8 concludes with a proposal for investigative journalism to probe into these allegations of undeclared conflict of interests and collusion between some UWC personnel in the upper echelons of the university, and outsourced companies which have “shareholding” links implicating some of the most influential political leaders of the ANC, such as Cyril Ramaphosa. Chapter 8 makes it vividly clear that the dynamics that unfolded at the Marikana massacre were invoked at UWC, it terms of very similar political contradictions that are laid bare by this chapter in particular.

Please click link to download full report: Student Rebellion Counter Narrative UWC_Final Draft_ 21 March 2016



IMG-20160112-WA0008On Thursday 14 January 2016, Minister Blade Nzimande met with the Student Representative Council’s (SRC’s) from across academic institutions nationally in Kempton Park, Johannesburg. This came after President Jacob Zuma almost robotically announced a Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education Funding.

Since the beginning of the student protests for Free Education, historically black universities and the popular #FeesMustFall campaign, students have been clear on what is needed: Free Education. Hence calling a meeting with a select group, SRC’s who have been rejected by the students and therefore have no legitimacy, is opportunistic and seeks to crush a genuine desire that all should be allowed to learn.

It is an obvious and outdated strategy by the anti-black ANC government to setup a commission, which we know only serves to lull those who demand a basic human right into some kind of inactivity. Having a Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education Funding further enforces that education must be commodified for it to be any good, a lie that goes directly against the demand for Free Socialist Black Centred Education.

The neglect of the students and their basic human rights is seen at a number of levels. Since the ANC government became the operators of the anti-black system they have had 22 years to think and strategise, that’s not considering the 100+ years of planning they should have done. It is now time for action.

The meetings by Minister Blade Nzimande with SRC’s ignored the position taken by students, “Nothing About Us, Without Us!” The announcement of this commission undermines the holistic work done by students around education and further ignores the fact that it is impossible to have a decolonised University in a colonised country, hence the demand for Fees Must Fall is equally the demand for Land!

BLF stands with the students, Nothing About Us, Without Us!

BLF rejects the SRC’s as they are part of the ANC government’s anti-black machine operators maintaining a white-supremacist order. BLF further rejects the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education Funding as a ploy to supress the students, and buy time to safeguard the ANC’s political ambition for the 2016 local elections.

BLF calls on students from across the country to:

1) continue to isolate sell-outs – SRC, PYA, SASCO, Nehawu and any ANC aligned movements

2) shutdown campuses until the demand for Free Socialist Black Centred Education is met

3) occupy anti-black state institutions such as The Union Buildings, Parliament of South Africa as well as Luthuli House

BLF implores all black people to remember that we cannot decolonise a university in a colonised country, and so the call for Free Socialist Black Centred Education is the call for Land.

15 January 2016

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail: blackfirstlandfirst@­gmail.com

Zanele Lwana
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 486 9087 Mail: zanelelwana@gmail.co­m

Lindsay Maasdorp
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 915 2957
Mail: lgmaasdorp@hotmail.c­om


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BLF applauds those who continue to play their part in the student struggle for Free Education, recognising the courageous work done in 2015, including the continual planning over what was meant to be a “festive period”. The principled position taken by the #FeesMustFall movement who rejects the idea of “Business as Normal, in an Abnormal Society”, is exemplary and speaks to the desire for black liberation from an anti-black, white-supremacist society.


Unprincipled Unity is No Unity at All! – At the beginning of the #FeesMustFall struggle, BLF warned that an unprincipled unity with ANC via PYA, SASCO and other affiliates is no unity. Later, the #FeesMustFall movement was hijacked by the ANC, where they tried to dilute the radical politics of the movement, which saw it splintering and in need of rebuilding.

Why call unity with ANC aligned organisations unprincipled? Because it is the ANC that makes laws that exclude blacks, it’s ANC laws that legalise outsourcing and it’s the ANC government that killed workers in Marikana.

We call on #FeesMustFall to take a principled Black First position, recognising that the decolonisation project must essentially be rooted in Black Struggle. Furthermore, we warn against the liberalising of the movement, which is a product of unprincipled unity.


We live in a violent state that sees black people as animals. The brutality by police on the UWC, TUT and CPUT students, when these notably black students refused to continue as if the struggle for liberation could simply be postponed, showed us the disdain for black life. Worse still, when these students defended themselves by using anti-black structures to counter institutionalised racism, they were rendered barbaric. We must be clear that violence is the only end toward social change, and to condemn the use of violence for liberation is to be anti-black. Impossible to have a Decolonised Institution in a Colonised Country – All institutions form part of society and has the purpose of serving the ends of society. These colonial institutions of learning thus serve only to promote an anti-black society and to groom black people to be machine operators of an anti-black system that safeguards land theft. We ask, what is education without land? Frantz Fanon says –

“For a colonized people the most essential value, because it’s the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity.”


The struggle for Free Socialist Black Centred Education must be rooted in the quest to take back the land.

We must continue to use the program of #FeesMustFall to build principled black unity that prepares us for the liberation of the black majority. We recognise that Black History has deployed us into these anti-black institutions to move the black struggle toward liberation. While participating in an anti-black educational system, our analysis of oppression must assist us in the fight for liberation.

We must continue the struggle to End Outsourcing Now! – we reject the slave wages paid to our parents, the postponement of insourcing, and the continual refusal to allow worker rights. We must continue to demand that our parents earn a Living Wage, enjoy the full benefits at the institutions they work in, and are seen as co-leaders with the students of the institutions they make up. Without students and workers there will be no institution.

We are the institution, we must decide its future!

The Worker and Student Alliance is thus imperative. There is only one black struggle!

We are principally united Black First. The struggle for #FeesMustFall and the struggle to #EndOutourcingNow is a struggle for liberation, and exists in the context of reclaiming the land that was stolen, the land that brings justice!

BLF recognises that the utterances of Chris Hart and Penny Sparrow have far reaching ideological implications for the consolidation of the white power structure to further its anti-black project in all aspects of the black condition including education and most importantly land. To this end –  BLF maintains its demand for the “criminalisation of racism with the provision that blacks can’t be racist” and urges that the rallying call for #FeesMustFall incorporates the complete liquidation of racism.


1) Free Registration – No student should pay for education and all unemployed persons should register to learn
2) Free Education – No student should pay for education, including all human requirements to participate in education (housing, food etc)
3) End Outsourcing Now – In-source all workers, pay living wage with full employee benefits
4) Criminalise racism with provision that “Blacks can’t be racist”
5) Shut down all campus’ nationwide – No campus should be allowed to function if they refuse Free Socialist Black Centred Education and to Insource Workers, paying them a Living Wage, extending full employee benefits and recognising Students and Workers as the highest decision makers.
6) Occupy institutions of governance – Parliament of South Africa, Union Buildings as well as Lethuli House
7) Shutdown SONA – 7pm, Thursday, 11 February 2016




Black First Land First Mail: blackfirstlandfirst@gmail.com

Zanele Lwana

Cell: +27 79 486 9087

Mail: zanelelwana@gmail.com

Lindsay Maasdorp

Cell: +27 79 915 2957

Mail: lgmaasdorp@hotmail.com


Face book page: Black First Land First

Twitter: @black1stland1st

Blog: http://www.black1stland1st.wordpress.com





On the 11th January 2016 the WITS #FEESMUSTFALL took up their revolutionary duty by occupying Solomon Mahlangu House (Senate House). After spending much of the summer rebuilding the WITS FMF movement that the PYA (the youth movement of ANC alliance) tried to destroy, WITS FMF successfully put a stop to the commencement of registration, which was then postponed until Thursday, 14th of January 2016. The success of WITS FMF now sees the same sell-out PYA which leads WITS SRC, trying to take credit for the FMF campaign and re-enter the WITS FMF movement. PYA members entered a mass gathering on Monday evening and asking to be allowed back into the movement claiming to be “students first” before ANC members. Yet after much debate PYA left the gathering, stating “we need to speak to our mother body (ANC) before agreeing”. A few hours later at 6am, 12th of January 2016, WITS FMF received eviction letters  written and signed by Deputy VC Tewana Coupe (not a court order as they have stated in media) to vacate the premises within 5min. Followed by approx 60 private security personnel storming through the university assaulting students and then police being seen both inside and at strategic entrances to the academic institution.


How can Deputy VC Tewana Coupe on behalf of WITS management evict students from an academic institution? It speaks to the hypocrisy of the academic institution leaders and the state crisis academia finds itself in. The struggle for Free Socialist Black Centred Education reveals that the white-centric com-modified education creates no capacity to think beyond whether students are paying, or whether students can learn through the struggle experiences they are engaged in. The revolutionary process means that the contestation for new ideas lives out in the confrontation of sell-out student leaders, police, and private security as the actors of ANC abuse.
BLF has repeatedly declared that “Unprincipled Unity is No Unity At All”, and here again we see the full machinery of the ANC to make true on their promise to crush movements who simply want the basic right to education. The ANC utilising their youth (PYA), academic student structures (SRC), private security and police trying to ensure that the commodification of the black child stays intact.

As BLF we want to place a firm warning to the movement that the ANC government in protection of white-monopoly capital is not to be trusted. That there is no difference between the Police, Private Security, WITS SRC and PYA, they are all machine operators of the ANC anti-black project which defends the anti-black white-supremacist order.


BLF calls on WITS FMF to remain principally united, rejecting anti-black WITS SRC, PYA and any movement or body that seeks to undermine the struggle for black liberation.


BLF rejects the idea that police and private security can enter academic institutions as a means to solve a political crisis.


BLF views the students and workers as the highest decision makers and thus rejects the notion that WITS management can simply tell students to leave and then call police and private security onto campus.




12 January 2016


Contact Details


Black First Land First Mail: blackfirstlandfirst@gmail.com


Zanele Lwana

(National Spokesperson)

Cell: +27 79 486 9087

Mail: zanelelwana@gmail.com


Lindsay Maasdorp

(National Spokesperson)

Cell: +27 79 915 2957

Mail: lgmaasdorp@hotmail.com



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We promise the politicians nothing! We demand that they deliver everything! All the political parties have now published their manifestoes; the empty ritual they buy our votes with. We say 17 years of elections without change are enough. Now we make our own manifesto:

We, the people of South Africa, hereby legislate a new law, titled “POLITICIANS AND PUBLIC SERVANTS: USE PUBLIC SERVICES”. This law compels all politicians, from the president to the local councilor, and all public servants, from the Director General to the sweeper and their families to use public utilities: Starting with the following:

  1. Hospitals.
  2. Schools.
  3. Transport.
  4. Housing! (The same standard house given to citizens must be used by all politicians and public servants)
  5. A living wage for all!
  6. Land belong to the people

Our politicians and public servants have neglected public services for far too long because they know they can take their families to the private sector. We say, what’s good for you is good for us. Equality for all, for real!

Our hospitals are falling apart; doctors and nurses are overworked and underpaid. By and large our public hospitals are places of death.  Simply put, no one is safe in our public hospitals. Our leaders, politicians, senior public servants and their families use private hospitals and that is why they don’t care about public hospitals which are used by the poor.

Our public schools are in bad condition, teachers are underpaid and the government is not investing in their training with the result that after 12 years of schooling most children from public schools can’t read, write or count.  This leads to a high unemployment rate amongst the youth who are trapped in hopelessness. Politicians and senior civil servants take their children to private schools.  This explains why public schools are not a priority for them.

Our public transport system is appalling. Every morning and night our people are packed into taxis, buses and trains like sardines. The queues are long and the fares are high. Our leaders, the rich and senior civil servants have big subsidies to get private transport. Some of our ministers can buy cars worth millions with tax payers’ money.

The townships are generally badly serviced. The houses are small and millions are forced to live in shacks. The RDP houses built by our black government are worse than the matchbox houses built during apartheid. Our leaders live in mansions, while the people are forced to live in rat-infested townships.

A living wage, the ANC and DA parties have legislated starvation minimum wages for our people. Farm workers earn a shocking R105 a day. Our government kills workers when they demand a living wage as in Marikana but cabinet ministers and members of parliament give themselves millions in salaries.

Land For 20 years of the ANC has delivered only 8% of land to black. It would take 100s of years to buy back our land.  Why are we buying our land back? We demand that all the land be nationalised without compensation and be equitably redistributed amongst the people.

We hereby commit ourselves to struggle to realize this legislation to hold public representatives and servants accountable to the people!

Together let’s make this law a reality.

This campaign is undertaken in the memory of Andries Tatane who was killed by our government for demanding quality services for all!

Issued by the September National Imbizo (SNI).




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I the undersigned, hereby voluntarily, without any personal or business interest, have chosen out of my free will and without prejudice to serve the public as an elected representative of the people /  an employee in the public sector.

I understand that the most important principle and  my duty  is to  serve the public through providing  high quality services to all persons alike and that this necessarily entails performing the duties of my office conscientiously and to the best of my ability!

This OATH is undertaken in the spirit of Thomas Sankara who set a shining example of how the public service must serve the people and not politicians or public servants.

I also understand that mutual respect between the State and its citizens is key to realizing true equality and I therefore, as a politician/public servant, do hereby commit myself to engage in prior consultation with the public to determine their needs so as to ensure that public services which are provided respond to the real needs of the people.

At no point shall I involve the police or any repressive arm of the state in dealing with matters related to the provision of public services to the people. It is not a crime for people to demand that the State provide public services to all its citizens in equal measure. The people are not criminals!

I commit myself to help build and promote an efficient public service system that ensures the real and legal dignity and equality of all. As a practical indication of my acknowledgement that the only way to ensure that the services that I provide are of an acceptable standard, I hereby undertake to use the services that the public sector provides to the people.  What is good for me is good for the people!

I THEREFORE declare that it is a criminal offence to use private services for myself, my family and my dependents, including but not limited to: education, healthcare, housing and transport. I’m committed to public service therefore; I use the services I provide.








 The Black First Land First (BLF) movement shares the grief of the Zimbabwean people on the loss of their beloved son and African revolutionary, Professor Sam Moyo. We learn with heavy hearts from our occupied country, South Africa, that Prof Moyo has passed on from this world.

We share the pain of the world peasants, landless and anti-imperialist community. This loss comes at a time when our world is again in the grip of imperial and colonial aggression and mendacity. In a world saturated with lies, revolutionary intellectual work becomes part of the most important arsenal of the battle for liberation of the oppressed.

We shall forever remember how Prof Moyo stood as a beacon of truth and principle in a sea of sponsored condemnation of the Zimbabwean land struggle. Imperialist propaganda went into overdrive trying to soil the heroic acts of the Zimbabwean people and their government to return the stolen land.

Prof Moyo rejected acclaim and acknowledgement that comes from colonial and imperial scholarship that implores Africans to take the side of Empire against its people. We watched with great admiration how, from every conference, from pages of rarefied academic journals and in books, Prof Moyo again and again defended the Zimbabwean land reclamation struggle.


We will always remember that there was a time when Prof Moyo stood alone with the revolutionary people of Zimbabwe. In international academic platforms he refused the seductive embrace of colonisers which comes with a litany of personal rewards.

We learned from Prof Moyo’s example that the greatest reward is service to the African masses and the oppressed of the world.

We learned from Prof Moyo that the land and agrarian struggles are foundational to the liberation of the African continent. We learned from Prof Moyo’s principled defence of the African revolution that the revolutionary process is served best by rigorous scholarship. From Prof Moyo’s agitation and scholarship we learned the truth of the Zimbabwean land revolution and were able to counter the imperialist lies better.

The avalanche of lies and condemnation from imperialism and its agents never stopped, but in the face of the tireless revolutionary scholarship of Prof Moyo these mountains of lies paled into insignificance.  We learned from Prof Moyo that without committed intellectuals the people perish. Africa must grow her own intellectuals, driven by the singular desire to serve this blighted continent.


Today, we march with less certainty because one who could see further than most of us, is no longer amongst us. We however, take solace in the knowledge that Prof Moyo left us foundations strong enough to take the process of building the African revolution further.

We South Africans remain a people shackled by colonial and neo-colonial bondage. We as South Africans remain landless after twenty-one years of pseudo-independence.

We have learned from Prof Moyo how to do battle against the intellectual deceit of the West. On our part, we commit to honor his memory through tirelessly working for the return of our land and attainment of self-reliance because we know only through returning our land first can we be on our way to putting blacks first in a world that puts blacks last.

To the people of Zimbabwe, his friends and colleagues and the entire anti-imperialist world, we say may the black gods strengthen you at this time. To his family, we thank you for sharing with us this brilliant gift from the Black Gods.

Hamba kahle son of the soil!


23 November 2015

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail: blackfirstlandfirst@­gmail.com

Zanele Lwana
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 486 9087

Lindsay Maasdorp
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 915 2957
Mail: lgmaasdorp@hotmail.c­om