Hangula warns “Fees Must Fall” students against striking

11 Feb 2016 12:50pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 11 FEB (NAMPA) – Vice-Chancellor of the University of Namibia (UNAM) has warned students supporting the “Fees Must Fall” movement against attempting to disrupt classes at the university.
In a speech read on his behalf at commencement of the academic year of the Unam Southern Campus in Keetmanshoop on Wednesday, Lazarus Hangula said any student who, “dares to undemocratically lock down the institution will be shown the door”.
He said the university will not fail in its mandate to enforce its statutory procedures and policies against students who demand free tertiary education through a strike.
“Students are admitted to university to study and learn, not to run the institution.”
Unam students followed Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) students in January this year, protesting against the increase in registration fees that pushed the amount to about N.dollars 3 500.
Hangula slammed the students for following “Juju” – Julius Malema, the South African politician who initiated “Fees Must Fall” in that country in October last year.
Hangula said Malema ordered students to boycott classes and examinations, to strike, lock down and burn their institutions and asked if Namibian students wanted to do the same.
“Is Namibia still South West Africa? Are our students not able to critically reason and analyse issues for themselves? That is tantamount to slavery of mind, my dear students,” Hangula said.
He said Government promised free primary education and then free secondary education, with free tertiary education to follow, but “when the time is right, which is when money is available”.
Hangula reminded students who were allowed to register without paying after intervention from the higher education ministry, to settle the outstanding amount on their student account by the end of June.
He called on students still harbouring to become “heroes of their own”, to refrain from disrupting the lives of those students who want to study.
“The majority of students want to learn and complete their studies. Do not unnecessarily destabilise a democratic country where education is anyway highly subsidised.”
Instead, Hangula advised the students to count themselves lucky for being able to access higher education, “in a sea of young people who did not have the same chances” as they have.
UNAM registered 1 025 new students this year.
Last year UNAM, the biggest university in Namibia, recorded a total of 21 975 students.