EFF Fort Hare says #CentenaryMustBurn as DA asks what's happened to student money

Different political parties at the University of Fort Hare are disrupting the institution’s centenary celebrations‚ demanding extra benefits for students.

Protesters gathered at the Student Centre on Tuesday to hand over a memorandum to management‚ demanding the release of funds for meal allowances amongst other issues.

Sharing a photograph of the protest‚ the EFF student branch (https://twitter.com/EFFSC–UFH)

tweeted: “Current situation at the University of Fort Hare‚ Alice Campus #Asijiki #CentenaryMustBurn”

“Goin be an interesting week at #Fort Hare this week.. Protest at the Alice Campus today and a stay-away called for EL Campus tomorrow‚” Supreme Flav ?@shayflava commented.

The Democratic Alliance said in a statement that the process regarding debt clearance and financial aid for students at Fort Hare was shut down on Monday.

According to Lai-wing Alberto‚ the head of Financial Aid at Fort Hare‚ the agreements could not be signed due to university funds having been exhausted‚ DA student leader Yusuf Cassim said.

“This will leave poor students without the funding that they were promised and again highlights the chronic lack of funding in higher education‚ and in particular‚ the poor financial management of this historic university‚” said Cassim.

Asking where the promised money had gone‚ Cassim said: “It is a travesty that while the money has dried up for students‚ expensive centenary celebrations – funded by the Provincial Government and Presidency – will continue… This is money that should rather be spent on helping those students in need. Indeed‚ the greatest tribute to the history of our iconic University is to provide funding to poor students‚ so that they can receive the education they need to pursue a life they value.”

Cassim said the DA would not participated in the celebrations‚ until students receive financial support.

The centenary celebrations will culminate with an address by President Jacob Zuma on Friday.

The celebration will acknowledge the role that the university has played in educating Africans. It will celebrate the values and traditions that made the university to be Africa’s most respected institution of higher learning‚ according to the President.

Alumni from Fort Hare include former President Nelson Mandela‚ ANC president Oliver Tambo‚ Botswana’s first democratic president Seretse Khama‚ President Julius Nyerere of the United Republic of Tanzania‚ Pan-African Congress leader Robert Sobukwe‚ and the first President of the Republic of Zambia‚ President Kenneth Kaunda.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe also graduated from Fort Hare – and he is expected to attend the celebrations.


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