Sasco renews its call for free education for all

THE South African Student Congress has renewed its call for the Department of Higher Education to introduce free education.

Yesterday the student organisation's president, Mbulelo Mandlana, pictured, discussing the soon-to-be released report by Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), said: "We are itching to see the recommendations of this committee and hope that our input, which suggests the introduction of free education, is included.

"If free education does not feature in the NSFAS review committee report, we will be at war with the minister and the committee."

Mandlana said Sascos was worried about the violence at the Tshwane University of Technology during fee hike protests.

The university's Soshanguve campus was expected to reopen yesterday, university spokesperson Gilbert Mokwatedi had said earlier.

The campus, north of Pretoria, was closed last Thursday after protests turned violent. Students were unhappy with what they claimed was a slow registration process and the campus' "filthy" residences.

The university closed the campus, suspended the student representative council, banned political activities and obtained a court order against the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania after a student was injured in a clash between groups affiliated to various political parties.

Mandlana said: "We condemn with utter disgust the barbaric attacks on students by Pasma and PAC criminals disguised as students."

Sasco also announced that they were boycotting Coca-Cola and the South African Breweries in solidarity with their striking workers.