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Zuma under fire over students’ protests


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Outrage and shock has greeted the decision by the Jacob Zuma-led government and the South African security forces to suppress widespread students’ protests against planned fee hikes in the country.
Incidentally, the protests are coming alongside spiraling economic difficulties in South Africa, a lot of which has been blamed on the incompetence and corruption of the incumbent African National Congress government that is led by President Zuma.
Only yesterday, Finance Minister Nene delivered the mid-year financial report to the South African parliament.
Meanwhile, the consensus of opinions across South Africa remains strongly opposed to wielding the big stick against the students.
Noted a commentator, Firebrand ‏@simphiwedana on her twitter handle: ‘Why are you using apartheid tactics on your own children @MyANC_? What is happening to you?’ It was a caustic example of the tone of public disapproval of Zuma who has been enmeshed in scandal after scandal before and after taking over the helms of government.
Commenting on the incidents, Professor Malegapuru William Makgoba, himself a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kwazulu-Natal and Deputy Chairperson of the National Planning Commission, opined that rather than taking it out on the students, the current crisis should rather be seen as a wake-up call that is pointing very clearly towards the need for a very comprehensive review of the leadership of South African universities.
‘Now the issue seems to be reduced to that of fees but when one looks at the way its spread across the country, it looks as though many more issues are emerging here. Is it just financial or would you say there is a specific problem with the way the universities are run at the moment, which has led to this problem?
Well, I think the fee issue is just a lightning rod. The real issue and the bigger issue is the issue of transformation. We’ve seen that transformation project. It’s the leadership issue within the university,’ the vocal don expressed in an interview published in Biznews.

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