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Max du Preez: Why I Changed My Tune About #FeesMustFall After Witnessing #NationalShutDown

A Rumour of SpringMax du Preez, author of A Rumour of Spring: South Africa after 20 years of Democracy, has issued an appeal to all South Africans to support the current university students protests.

In his column for News24, Du Preez admits that he too first mumbled disapprovingly into his beard about the students who were disrupting classes but after yesterday’s violence he realised that these students need to succeed in their cause.

“We need every one of these protestors to graduate with a good qualification if we want South Africa to be a winning country one day,” he writes.

Read the article:

University fees are too high for most students and prospective students.

A report commissioned by the department of Higher Education last year found that South Africa only spends 0.75% of its GDP on tertiary education. This is less than the average in Africa, much less than the world average and a whole lot less than the average in developed countries.

The government threw the report in the rubbish bin.

I must admit that I, too, was mumbling in my beard when I watched the hyperbole, the militant statements and threats and the singing and dancing at campuses.

Misdirected anger

But I had to remind myself that this was South Africa: nobody takes notice of your grievances if you simply hand over a petition.

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