27 August 2018
The African National Congress has, since its inception 106 years ago, been committed to the realization of free education. This was well articulated in the freedom charter and later the founding documents of the congress movement. The realization of free education as a public good act will ultimately allow the poor and working class to have equitable access to the economy as well as alleviate their lived experiences of poverty. Thus the call by the students of South Africa in the fight for a free decolonized education, among other demands, is a call that is championed by the ANC.
During the 2015 - 2016 period, #FeesMustFall protests reached a peak and the country witnessed mass protest across institutions of higher learning. This led to a number of student activists being criminally prosecuted with many of them currently undergoing court processess for various charges.
The African National Congress henceforth welcomes the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Cde Michael Masutha's intervention on proposed amnesty for #FeesMustFall students. We further applaud the Minister's commitment to expedite these processes within the legal framework, while also appreciating the constitutional processes that must be adhered to. However we must stress the need for urgency in this regard.
We reiterate our earlier stance that the ANC will never condone or promote the destruction of property. The burning of infrastructure, especially libraries and residences destroy the opportunities of students from working class families disadvantaging them from accessing such resources as these are a fundamental requirement to ensure student success.
Furthermore, in the interest of finding a lasting solution through constructive engagement with the student movement and other stakeholders, the ANC commits itself to continuous dialogue.
ISSUED BY ANC HEADQUARTERS, LUTHULI HOUSE, DIP
071 623 4975
ANC Communications Team
084 598 2437