In yet another debate about the feasibility of free education in South Africa, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) national chairperson Advocate Dali Mpofu has blamed the African National Congress (ANC) and President Jacob Zuma for making a U-turn on the promises made in the 1994 elections.
Taking to Twitter on Friday morning, Mpofu recalled that in the 1994 elections, the ruling party promised free education for all, while they also promised free education for the poor in the 2016 elections.
Mpofu said the change in tune was a result of the ruling party’s yearly R30-billion corruption bills it had forgotten to budget for, further calling Zuma a “genius”, sarcastically, and “thief”.
ANC1994:FreeEducation FOR ALL
ANC2016:FreeEducation "FOR THE POOR"
Sorry we forgot 2 budget for R30b p.a corruption! pic.twitter.com/1dFoOCh0FT
— Dali Mpofu (@AdvDali_Mpofu) September 29, 2016
One of his followers, Craig Dennis, disagreed with Mpofu’s sentiments, saying free education was just not feasible, that someone would have to pay for it, one way or another. The follower gave an example of how tarred roads were paid through fuel levy and licence fees. The advocate agreed, saying the same rules should apply with regards to free education. “State must levy progressive taxes (the rich pay more).”
However, he was criticised for the suggestion, with some saying the rich were already paying more.
He further lashed out at the president for “thinking” the education crisis would be solved by the security cluster that had been deployed to different campuses across the country. “How stupid!” he said.
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Mpofu said he was condemning police violence to avoid another Sharpeville massacre, Soweto Uprising and Marikana massacre.
The president released a statement on Thursday calling for calm and restraint at higher education institutions. He said he was “seriously disturbed” by the violence on some campuses.
“We urge the students to exercise this right in a responsible manner. They must respect law enforcement officers. They must also respect the rights of others who are not taking part in the protests. We have also directed members of the South African Police Service to act strictly within the confines of the law and the Constitution as they discharge their duties of ensuring the safety and security of all as well as protecting lives and property,” he said.