If a picture tells a thousand words, then scenes from the #FeesMustFall protests sweeping across South African universities tell one heck of a story.
As the protests against high university fees enter their second week since starting at Wits University in Johannesburg, students from major universities in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo have officially tagged today as #NationalShutDown day. They’ve called for all universities to stop regular operation immediately.
Social media has so far been the most powerful source in documenting this major moment in South Africa’s post-democratic history. When looking at photos and videos of protest that have been posted over the week, one would think we’ve travelled back 25 years back to a time where citizens and police were at loggerheads almost on a daily basis.
htxt.africa has compiled a series of the most gripping images posted by those involved in the protest that we think paint a clear picture of the dire situation we find our country facing 21 years after democracy and a “better life for all” was promised.
The responses from most institutions haven’t been exactly diplomatic. Tensions have boiled over to the point where management at the University of Cape Town went as far as applying (and being granted) an interdict against the #FessMustFall hashtag.
On Tuesday afternoon minister of higher education, Blade Nzimande, met with vice chancellors from various universities to pave a way forward and respond to students’ demands for no fee increments to be implemented in any South African university for the year 2016.
The minister and vice chancellors settled on a 6% increment cap across all institutions, but students and protest leaders collectively rejected the agreement, again calling for no increases. Protest action continues across the country.
[Main image – Raeesa Pather via Twitter]