Over the past few days, thousands of protesters in South Africa have been speaking out against the government’s decision to raise school fees by 10.5%.
The protesters believe the rise in tuition will make tertitary education unaffordable and will prevent poor black students from accessing and benefitting from education. Demanding instead for institutions to provide free education for all.
The hashtags #FeesMustFall, #NationalShutDown and #ZumaMustFall have been trending on social media and the important message is being received all over Africa and all around the world.
The protests began on Monday with students barricading a number of South African campuses including the University of Cape Town and University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Today, over a dozen universities have been involved in the demonstrations.
But what was originally intended as a peaceful protest that demanded answers from the ANC, resulted in policemen releasing teargas, stun grenades and arresting students.
It gets worse.
Given the social media world we live in, even the jail cells where protesters were being held were documented on twitter.
All over the world, everyday people and celebrities have been speaking out on the situation.
She’s right. There aren’t enough Sugar daddies. Times are hard for everyone.
President Zuma’s literacy was brought into question.
Even Oscar Pistorius couldn’t escape the wrath of protesters.
South African comedian and host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, also shared his thoughts.
Here’s hoping he speaks on this during his show.
Models at SA Fashion Week showed support for the protesters.
South Africans abroad made sure their voices were heard.
Even our favourite RSA Minister of Sports, Mbalula Fikile, made sure his tweets of support were acknowledged.
There was speculation that the “Mother of the Nation”, Winnie Mandela would be joining the student protesters.
But this claim is currently being disputed.
Overall, many South Africans feel this is a mirror event to the Soweto uprising in 1976 when students protesting against apartheid language policies were fired on by police.
South African President, Jacob Zuma, is reportedly planning to meet with student leaders and university administrators today according to his spokesman, Bongani Majola. We hope that an agreement can be made. In the meantime, our thoughts remain with our South African brothers and sisters.
In 2015, quality education should really be free for all.