100 signatures reached
To: UKZN Council and Executive
UKZN Council and Executive must protect arrested students of UKZN PMB
Members of UKZN Council, we as your students call on you as a matter of urgency to engage with us on the matter of charges against us in relation to #FeesMustFall . We are facing criminal charges for standing up for free higher education. If we go to trial and are found guilty our futures and the hopes of our families as university graduates are destroyed. As the primary complainant in case ,you are in the best position to protect us. We ask that together we explore ways to divert the matter away from potentially punitive court processes toward internal resolution. We are not criminals, ours was a legitimate fight for free decolonised education. As UKZN Council have the authority and power to protect us. Please talk to us.
Why is this important?
From 4 August 2017, we – the Arrested Students of UKZN-Pietermaritzburg – will stand trial as protestors of #FeesMustFall.
Society applauds the youth for re-awakening the country to ongoing social injustice and inequity.
The University agrees with free higher education and recognises the right to protest, yet they are not protecting us. If the courts try us, and find us guilty, we are the ones whose dreams and lives will be shattered.
For the record;
We DO support #FeesMustFall.
We DO stand up for our rights and the rights of all South Africans.
We DID help to build the ongoing broad movement for social justice in South Africa
even after UKZN took out an interdict prohibiting us from freely doing so which means we are primarily charged with contempt of court among other charges. We are randomly accused for being generally a part of the climate at the time.
We DID NOT burn buildings.
We DID NOT assault anyone.
While our University prides itself for being a transformative university that supports free higher education, those in authority are washing their hands of our fate.
While the adults of society have the economic, institutional and legal power to protect us as the young of the society, they are instead looking away and doing nothing.
If we are charged we will be blighted for life. Instead of emerging from university as graduates helping to make our society better, we will be branded as criminals that will make our degree status useless.