Mcebo Dlamini responds to Mantashe: ‘When he opens his mouth he spews bile’

As students readied to march to Cosatu House from the education campus of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Parktown, former Wits SRC president Mcebo Dlamini addressed comments that ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe had made earlier in the week.

“When he opens his mouth he spews bile. I mean, that was an irresponsible statement from a secretary general, from a communist, from a father. It must tell you that these ANC leaders and our leaders in government, they don’t have their children in these universities so they don’t care,” Dlamini said.

The former Wits #FeesMustFall leader was responding to comments Mantashe made earlier in the week where the secretary general had said that if he was the minister of higher education and training, he would shut down univerisities to teach students a lesson.

“I’m not the minister of education. Because if I was, my first reaction would be to close them. For 16 months. And open them after six months, and close the residences for six months. After a year, people will know higher education will be important for their future. You are not doing anyone a favour by studying,” Mantashe said. 

Dlamini made mention of Mantashe’s children studying in China, where education is free. He said that, upon their return, they would have a future better than that of many poor black South Africans.


“When those children come back, they are going to rule us, because they have the education that we don’t have,” he said.

The latest #FeesMustFall protests come after Nzimande announced that university councils would decide on the fee increment for 2017, but recommended that the increase not exceed 8%. The minister said that households which earn less than R600 000 per annum would not pay the fee increment, but would pay for their fees.

The so-called “missing middle” – students who are considered too wealthy for financial aid, but are unable to afford academic fees – would also be subsidised by government.

Dlamini, however, rejected the minister’s announcement, saying that it helped create division along class lines.

“You ask yourself, now we have been given names from ‘born frees’ to ‘clever blacks’. Today we are being called the missing middle. I am worried about where this country is going, but as Wits and other universities there is no room to negotiate about any fee increase because the protest of last year was clear – it was that of free education,” he said.

He alluded to the wealth difference between those in power and many young black people who do not have financial access to education, saying that Nzimande and Mantashe are creating another generation of working class black people.

“Our children are going to be the maids of the children of the Blade Nzimandes and the Gwede Mantashes – that’s what they are doing. That’s what we are fighting for. Our parents were maids and our children will be maids. And this time our children will be maids of the leaders and the minsisters.”

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Raeesa Pather
Raeesa Pather
Ra’eesa Pather is a Cape Town-based general news and features journalist.

Related stories

The living nightmare of environmental activists who protest mine expansion

Last week Fikile Ntshangase was gunned down as activists fight mining company Tendele’s expansions. Community members tell the M&G about the ‘kill lists’ and the dread they live with every day

The shame of 40 000 missing education certificates

Graduates are being left in the lurch by a higher education department that is simply unable to deliver the crucial certificates proving their qualifications - in some cases dating back to 1992

Unisa shortlists two candidates for the vice-chancellor job

The outgoing vice-chancellor’s term has been extended to April to allow for a smooth hand-over

Fort Hare students test positive for Covid after partying

The 30 students, who went to a bash at a tavern in East London, were not wearing masks, did not sanitise their hands nor keep to social distancing regulations.

Renewables will light up the darkness

More than 11 800MW of new electricity capacity from independent power producers will come online in 2022, giving Eskom space to do more maintenance on its unreliable infrastructure

Five universities extend academic year to March 2021

Minister Blade Nzimande says a staggered ending of the academic year is intended to support students
Advertising

Subscribers only

The shame of 40 000 missing education certificates

Graduates are being left in the lurch by a higher education department that is simply unable to deliver the crucial certificates proving their qualifications - in some cases dating back to 1992

The living nightmare of environmental activists who protest mine expansion

Last week Fikile Ntshangase was gunned down as activists fight mining company Tendele’s expansions. Community members tell the M&G about the ‘kill lists’ and the dread they live with every day

More top stories

‘Battle-tested’ vs ‘kind and fair’ — DA candidates’ last push...

John Steenhuisen and Mbali Ntuli both acknowledged the problems faced by the party over the past year, with each of them offering their own leadership vision.

A Landie icon is born

Replacing one of the most-loved cars in history, the new Defender pulls off the near impossible task of doing almost everything better

NSFW: The tricky business of OnlyFans

In an increasingly digital world, OnlyFans has given online creators a new way to make money on their own terms

Q&A Sessions: ‘Keeping quiet is not an option’ — Charlotte...

More than a decade after a brief stint on the opposition benches, Charlotte Lobe is helping to fly the South African flag as a senior public servant in the department of international relations and co-operation
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday