News Brief

Fees Must Fall Activist Nompendulo Mkhatshwa is Set to Have a Seat in Parliament

Nompendulo Mkhatshwa, the prominent Fees Must Fall activist, is set to sit in parliament with the ruling party ANC.

Nompendulo Mkhatshwa is the former president of the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the University of the Witwatersrand where the Fees Must Fall movement was born. She has been shortlisted onto the ruling African National Congress (ANC) top 50 national list of individuals to head to parliament after the party's vetting process is complete.


In 2015, after the government announced that there would be an 8% increase in tuition fees at universities across South Africa, student leaders gave birth to a movement that would make South African history. The SRC at the University of the Witwatersrand was then headed by Mcebo Dlamini, who is now currently running for presidency of the ANC Youth League. Dlamini was stripped of his position as SRC president following several disciplinary hearings and thus Shaeera Kalla stepped in to lead the SRC. She then handed the baton over to Mkhatshwa.

READ: #FeesMustFall Reading List: 9 Important Reads on South Africa's Student Protests

Thousands of students from all over South Africa went on to shutdown their universities in an effort to have their demands met and to highlight how financial exclusion was turning universities into elitist spaces that sought to prevent capable but poor black students from obtaining access to them. After brutal clashes with police and the heavy militarization of university campuses, thousands of students marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to speak with then president Jacob Zuma. On that day, the government announced that there would be no fee increases for the following year.

Students went on to fight for free education in 2016, although this is still an ongoing battle.

READ: Black Child, You're On Your Own: The Plight of Black Students in Democratic South Africa

According to the SowetanLIVE, Mkhatshwa may be on her way to joining the ANC in parliament after the 2019 elections which are taking place in April. However, this will only be confirmed after a thorough background check has been done to ensure that she is in line with the party's image and values.



(YouTube)

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