By The Star
JOHANNESBURG: The University of Zimbabwe has become the latest institute of higher learning to pledge its support to striking Wits University students, who have vowed to continue their protest in spite of the recent suspension of their student representative council (SRC) president Aphiwe Mnyamana.
In a statement on Tuesday, Zimbabwe SRC leader Allan Chipoyi expressed sadness at the recent suspension of Mnyamana, calling it a blow to the fight for free education across the African continent.
“Aphiwe Mnyamana is a committed student in the fight against the centralisation of capital in the running of the education sector,“ Chipoyi said.
“This is not only affecting South African students but students around the African continent at large, Wits University and the University of Zimbabwe included. The failure of the African leaders to provide affordable and decolonised education is a bizarrely ahistorical reversal of what our forefathers fought for during our liberation struggles.“
Chipoyi said he and the rest of the UZ SRC stood in solidarity with their South African counterparts, adding that they urged Wits University to reverse its decision with immediate effect.
The same sentiments from the University of Zimbabwe were echoed by the South African Students Congress (Sasco), which has slammed the suspension of Mnyamana and five other students the university said had broken its rules.
Speaking to the SABC, Sasco president Vezinhlanhla Simelane said the issues between the students and the university could only be resolved through negotiations with all parties involved.
“The suspension of our comrade from Wits is quite disturbing, and it’s very wrong. In this country, we’re in a democratic state, and I believe that any issue must be resolved at the table. So if the management of Wits is unable to come on board, especially the vice chancellor because the vice chancellor is the one that is leading the university, he must be flexible in terms of having conversations with our students,” Simelane said.