The African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape is deeply concerned about the on-going impasse between students and university management at the University of Fort Hare (Alice Campus) and Walter Sisulu University(East London Campus) which has led to physical harm to students and threatening the further polarization within the campuses. The standoff is reported to be as a result of students’ dissatisfaction with amongst others, financial exclusions, academic and campus safety and incidents of gender-based violence on campus.
We have also learnt of the existence and circulation of a malicious and slanderous voice note (VN) on social media platforms, which is casting aspersions on the integrity of the ANC Provincial Chairperson, Cde Oscar Mabuyane, who is also the Premier of the Province.
The organisation considers these action as slanderous, tantamount to defamation of character and we strongly condemn this behaviour with the contempt it deserves. Casting aspersions should be stopped and hence we call on the person who made the voice note to approach law enforcement agencies and lay charges.
We call on the university to urgently investigate the matter to its logical conclusion and further ensure that action is taken against any person, especially if the individual is a member of the UFH community as it is alleged, and act consistently with their policies dictates if he is found to have erred.
The stability of the University of Fort Hare is in our collective interest and anyone fueling discontent must be investigated, in particular for either political or personal benefit and be brought to book. The ANC calls on the university management in both campuses to ensure that stability is restored and to enable a conducive environment for engagements to take place between all affected stakeholders.
The ANC further calls for a speedy resolution of the matter and that management should play a leading role. We also welcome the efforts by the Eastern Cape Provincial Government and members of Alumni in their collective efforts working with all affected stakeholders to find a solution to the on-going impasse.
The ANC in the Province is committed to the goal of ensuring that our universities become world-class institutions leading in research and innovation and that they respond to the challenges faced by our people in the Eastern Cape. We therefore, have to work together to achieve this goal and preserve our institutions for future generations to come.
ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS IN EASTERN CAPE
Cde Lulama Ngcukayitobi
ANC Provincial Secretary
Cde Gift Ngqondi
Provincial Head of Communications
Mobile: 084 951 9924/ 084 843 9706