Incensed by the police action, which resulted in the death of a bystander Mthokozisi Ntumba, Wits students thronged to the premises of the Constitutional Court in renewed agitations. The demonstrations over funding have also spread to other parts of the country.
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the National House of Traditional Leaders on 11 March 2021, where he said the police overreached itself during student protests in Braamfontein.
He extended his condolences to the family of Mthokozisi Ntumba.
ANC Secretary-General, Ace Magashule, says students’ demands are legitimate and consistent with ANC policy following days of protests over financial exclusions. ANC officials are meeting Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande on Friday.
Nzimande says the Cabinet has agreed that funding for students should be prioritised.
“Cabinet agreed that funding should re-prioritised from the budget of higher education and training to ensure that all qualifying students can receive funding for the 2021 academic year.”
Ntumba’s family want answers following his killing. Family spokesperson Sthembiso Jwara said, “with the information that we have, we feel really hard done by as a family by the police service that is supposed to protect us. We received the minister because we want to hear what he said and as a family we definitely want justice and we expect justice to be served. We appreciate the gesture of the minister.”
The protesting students held night vigils in honour of Ntumba while the Independent Police Investigative Directorate has launched a probe into the incident.