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NYDA calls for amnesty for all #FeesMustFall Student Activists
22 August 2018
The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) joins all progressive calls for the President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa to grant amnesty to all Fess Must Fall Student Activists. We view the continued court proceedings as well as conviction of student activists as an anti-thesis for the struggle for a just and free education system which has been achieved. We do however condemn elements of violence and vandalism which we believe must be addressed however as a start, we call for the release of all arrested students and the expunge of their criminal records
The Executive Chairperson of the NYDA, Mr. Sifiso Mtsweni has officially written to the President, to consider the long-term effect of the charges on student leaders but also to exercise prerogative and grant a Presidential pardon to all activists.
According to Mr. Mtsweni, “It is prudent for us as a country to begin engaging in dialogue on the nature and extent of protest actions in our society. We cannot afford that a just cause for Free Quality and Decolonised Education for an African child is overshadowed by mere elements of violence that we have witnessed in the past. It is therefore crucial that all stakeholders find lasting solutions for the betterment of our higher education”.
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) as an institution responsible for the implementation of Free Education must speedily resolve its challenges to avoid any possible student protest actions moving forward. A plenary session will be convened in partnership with the South African Union of Students (SAUS) and other student formations to rollout planned dialogue session focusing on protest actions at our universities and TVET colleges.
“We cannot underscore the importance of both the Ministry of Higher Education and Training and the Justice and Correctional Services in ensuring that all student activists are granted pardon and that planned dialogue sessions provide a much-needed solution as student demands are justified,” Mtsweni said.
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Issued by the National Youth Development Agency