A “hatred of white people” is the fuel behind ongoing protests at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa, a student has told a newspaper in that city.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the student told the South African News24 service that current violent protests—focused on a student housing shortage—is marked by “an extreme hatred of whites.”
The student told News24 that she was one of the students who did not have accommodation when she arrived at the university, but all the students had been told beforehand.
The black students had set up a tin shack on the main UCT thoroughfare to protest the accommodation that had been offered, claiming that it was like the shack.
But the student told News24 that the “university let them [the black students] know that there is no residence available for them [but] they didn’t make other plans.
“Yet they came here and the university rented these lodges, one in Mowbray and one in Observatory, to accommodate them, which is really good. It has a bed and a desk and warm water and three delicious meals every day. It’s not like the shack they have put up here,” she said.
During the ongoing violence this past week, eight blacks were arrested, one of whom was not a student, after the busts of Jan Smuts and Maria Emmeline Barnard Fuller—two famous historical white South Africans after whom two of the UCT student residences are named—were spraypainted red, and art depicting white people was removed from buildings and burned in the central square of the campus.
Vice chancellor Max Price confirmed that “students” reacted violently to the institution’s request on Tuesday to move the shack. He said students “invaded residences and kitchens, erected burning barricades, and stole portraits from residences which they set on fire. A car and a shuttle bus were set alight and another bus was stolen.”
Price also confirmed that the main UCT administration building, called Bremner, was attacked with a Molotov cocktail by the rioting blacks this week as well.
South African “universities” have been in a constant state of chaos for months, after years of steady decline and collapse in academic standards.
In October last year, for example, it was revealed that the failure rate among all “students” at South African universities was a massive 85 percent.
A longstanding protest against university fees saw the government cancel all fee hikes for the 2016 academic year, but this has caused major problems for all those institutions, as the South African economy and infrastructure are rapidly descending into chaos.
The vice-chancellor of Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape Province, Dr Sizwe Mabizela, recently warned during parliamentary hearings on the Higher Education Amendment Bill that “South Africa’s higher education system was standing at the edge of a precipice and could implode.”
Addressing the committee on behalf of twenty-six universities, Mabizela said they were “facing an incredibly difficult moment that could turn into a permanent crisis.”
He went on to say that his university was facing an “accommodation crisis as a result of the zero percent fee increase this year,” just like UCT, as students who had previously lived off campus now wanted to live in university subsidized residences because they were cheaper.
In addition, he said, the university had enrolled more students than it could accommodate “in line with a Higher Education directive that students not be turned away based on their inability to pay fees.”