“Earlier today we saw a female student at the University of Free State, QwaQwa Campus
being assaulted by four private security members while she was laying on the floor;
they stomped on her and kicked her.”

– Ayavuya Madolo BMFsc Provincial Chair Free State, 29 March 2017

This incident took place while students were protesting against the de-registrations that are scheduled to take place on 1 April 2017 after the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) failed to successfully carry out the SBux Program which caters for accommodation, food, books and transport for students. The University of Venda is also faced with the same challenge which saw a huge number of students being evicted from their residences and brutally assaulted by members of the South African Police Services (SAPS) and Private University Security.

The Black Management Forum Student Chapter (the BMFsc) is insisting on the immediate intervention of the Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to reign in ViceChancellors to ensure that our institutions of learning are not militarised by private 2 | Page security and the police. The intervention by the Minister should be to allow students, where NSFAS has confirmed approval of SBux, to attend without any victimisation. We appeal to the executive leadership of NSFAS to intervene and communicate with the Institutions where payments have been delayed to facilitate an agreement which speaks to the date and progress made in ensuring that all affected students are adequately dealt with.

We are also calling on students to open cases of assault against any private security or official that seeks to victimise any student that is fighting for this legitimate cause for access to education. We ask the students to remain calm and carry themselves in a manner that avoids destruction of property and incriminating behaviour. Lastly, we condemn any institution or person that seeks to delegitimise genuine calls for access to education by students. We also condemn the notion that brutality is a way to deal with the legitimate call made by students across the country. The government appears not to be serious in addressing these legitimate concerns raised by disadvantage students. They should step up and address the call and stop hiding behind talk shows while students suffer. The BMFsc will going forward, engage in the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in dealing with these assaults and victimisation of students.

Issued by:
Melcome Mahlathini
Black Management Forum Student Chapter
National Student Chapter Chairperson
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