Yesterday a Peace Accord meeting was held at a church near Wits university. Founding general secretary of Cosatu and social activist, Jay Naidoo says he was invited by the Wits academic union to share experiences of navigating crises during the activism of the 1980s.
The protest on #FeesMustFall started almost a month ago after Higher education Minister Blade Nzimande made an announcement that a decision on fees increment would be left to the Universities but capped at 8%.
I was there to offer what i understood were lessons that we learned in our history because we mustn't repeat the mistakes we have made in the past.— Jay Naidoo, social activist
Naidoo says he was disturbed by the fact that Vice Chancellor Adam Habib was thrown out of the meeting as it was an open public meeting. He found this unacceptable because all parties involved were invited to converse and try find solutions.
Violence can never be a solution to our problems.— Jay Naidoo, social activist
I went into the conversation hoping that one could begin a conversation about what are the solutions and who are the people who should be in negotiations— Jay Naidoo, social activist
He says the solutions to providing free, quality and decolonised education should not be left in the hands of vice chancellors. "Government has to come to the table, led by the Treasury."
He chastised government for appointing a sub committee to deal with the crisis that left out the Finance Minister.
It does not seem to be a government that is functioning.— Jay Naidoo, social activist
Listen to Jay Naidoo speak about the current situation at Wits university:
This article first appeared on 702 : Government must come to the table - Jay Naidoo