SASCO has never been an opposition to and has never aspired to, or pretended to be, the ANC.
As much as the South African Students Congress remains in alliance with the ANC, it has a responsibility never to pose as uncritical cheerleaders of the ANC or be ANC lapdogs.
When we criticise Minister of Communications Siphiwe Nyanda's irresponsible hotel bills while millions live in shacks, and when we expose the dangers of conspicuous consumption by an elite connected to the ANC while the majority of South Africans live below the breadline, we are not weakening but rather strengthening the movement.
We are pointing out issues that, if not resolved, could put the ANC itself in peril.
As a confirmation of our strategic role within the liberation movement, we are located together with the ANC Youth League on the seventh floor of Luthuli House, the ANC headquarters.
Does that mean that we should just take the lift to the sixth floor to meet the ANC general secretary and lament about our problems with the ANC rather than lead students in protest?
Remember, you can only win at the negotiating table what you have won first on the streets.
This is why, as much as we use our access to the ANC and the alliance, we have every duty to put pressure on both the government and the ANC never to shirk its historic mandate and lead us all into collective peril.
This dialectic of unity and struggle is exactly what eludes Andile Mngxitama's attempt to understand the relationship between the ANC and Sasco.
Unity and struggle are not diametric, but dialectical opposites. We must never abdicate our duty to lead the struggle for free education.
Lazola Ndamase, general secretary,Johannesburg