- Former president Jacob Zuma has spoken out about the recent student protests
- He slammed the ANC for not implementing free education as stated in the Freedom Charter
- Zuma also the opportunity to take a swipe at Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande
Former president Jacob Zuma has broken his silence over the recent student protests which rocked the country this week, particularly when Mthokozisi Ntumba, a bystander was fatally wounded in a shooting incident.
Zuma is seen as a hero in the fight for free education ever since his announcement in 2017 that free education would be available for all.
“It's not a small feat that students fight for the right thing and they get shot at. How do you explain this to people?"
Zuma slammed the ANC for not implementing the policy of Free Education as stated in the Freedom Charter.
He made these comments while addressing the ANC Women's League whom he was hosting at another "tea party" at Nkandla.
The president of the league, Bathabile Dlamini, and Zuma are firm allies. The league had stated that the purpose of their visit to Nkandla was to help bring unity to the party according to Times Live.
Zuma also took the opportunity to take a swipe at Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande.
Nzimande had said that Zuma's announcement on free education had caused considerable problems for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) according to IOL.
Zuma took exception to Nzimande's comments and said that he would understand if he was criticising the ANC but his comments were aimed at Zuma.
He also criticised Nzimande for his role as secretary of the SACP.
“The worst part is that he is the general secretary of a party, that is fighting for socialism so that poor people can live."
He asked the Women's League to help him tell Nzimande to leave him alone and do his job.
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that responding to questions from members of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) regarding the poor performance of NSFAS, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Blade Nzimande mentioned former president Jacob Zuma.
Nzimande says Zuma's announcement in 2017 of free higher education for students who could not afford it caused problems for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
The minister said that the former president's actions had subverted recommendations from the commission (Heher Commission) appointed to research funding for higher education. The commission found the country had no ability to fund free higher education.
In other news, first-year tertiary education students who qualify for National Student Financial Aid Scheme funding will now be able to register after it was revealed that more funds have been allocated.
Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Blade Nzimande made the announcement on Thursday. This follows the student protests against financial exclusion at the University of Witwatersrand.
The government, however, said the funds are not a result of the protests outside the university.
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