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SACP blames EFF for ongoing UWC protests

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Deputy General Secretary Jeremy Cronin blamed Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (Pasma) for the looting and disruption of exams at University of Western Cape (UWC).

Cronin said they (SACP) needed to expose a small minority of externally funded anarchist who were seeking to use the student for their own agenda.

Cronin was speaking during a media briefing at the SACP’s Augmented Central Committee meeting in Benoni on Sunday.

“Over the past few weeks, these forces have exposed themselves. The destruction of university property and criminal actions are not the work of those who genuinely seek to transform the higher education and training terrain. On the UWC campus, 300 misguided anarchists associated with the EFF and Pasma have tried to disrupt examinations, holding 30 000 students hostage,” Cronin told reporters.

News24 earlier reported several arrests at UWC after a small group of protesting set a number of campus buildings alight.

He said the ANC led alliance needed to speak with one voice and listen to the many issues confronting students. Cronin said resources must be found to meet the commitment to a zero fee increase for 2016 and address the debt crisis confronting returning students.

Cronin said a comprehensive review must be undertaken to ensure that the government’s budgetary process are aligned with key strategic priorities of the country.

Cronin lashed out on detractors of Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande. He said the SACP refused to be dragged in the mud with some political leaders who were publicly attacking Nzimande.

ATTACKS ORCHESTRATED

Earlier this year, in an exclusive interview with News24, ANC Youth League president Collen Maine blamed Nzimande and his department for the wave of student protests over fee increases.

Cronin said these attacks were orchestrated by factions inside the ANC for their own agenda. “Its quite blatant that some of the personalised attacks on the minister (Nzimande) were not intended to assist in finding solutions to the challenges faced by the students sector, they were directed against a minister in practice by entirely factionist group inside the ANC with an agenda. We decided not to respond in kind but we will be raising in this at the Alianace Political Council.”

“If the minister cared enough he would have dealt with these issues just after Wits because this was an indication that more was coming,” said Maine.

Students led protest against fee increases dominated headlines last month. Several universities across the country took part in the protest which led to President Jacob Zuma scrapping fee hikes for 2016. News24


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