ActionSA Youth Council Member, Lincoln Machaba, has come out gun smoking after a man was allegedly shot to death by the police the during the Wits University students protest yesterday in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
In a statement, Machaba conveyed his condolences to the family of the deceased father of three. “We call on IPID to fast track its investigation on those police officers. They must be charged and prosecuted as soon as possible. We condemn, in the strongest terms, the senseless killings and the unnecessarily excessive use of force against people exercising their constitutionally protected right to protest. Young people cannot still be fighting to affirm this right 27 years into democracy”, he said.
Machaba also lambasted the government and said the tragedy could have been avoided “if the successive ANC-led government did not sell young people of South Africa a fairy tale dream called “Free Education” which they could not deliver and then, when they are exposed for this, unleash a violent Police force against unarmed peaceful protestors”.
He said that his organisation believed that free education for the poor would be feasible if the ANC government would sensibly reprioritize spending and grow the economy to support increases priorities of this magnitude.
“We, as young people of South Africa”, said Machaba, “are the future. Prioritizing and investing in our education is an investment in this future and, frankly, non-negotiable when over 60% of young people are without work”.
He criticised the government and said the budget cuts of R24.6 Billion to the Department of Higher Education and Training and R6.8 Billion directly to NSFAS, was a spit on the faces of young South Africans. He said the ANC-led government had sold young South Africans dreams that free education was achieved in 2017, and added; “When the former President made a last-ditch attempt to swing the ANC’s internal election in in favour of his faction”.
Machaba said ActionSA would write a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, and NSFAS and demand answers on issues relating to financial implications of Covid19 expenditure in universities and propose the reallocation of funds from these failed and SOE’s.
He warned; “Failure to respond adequately to our enquiry we will call on all young people to unite and march to the Union Buildings with students and relevant student organisations”.
Machaba added; “Amid this fight, we want to call on all student organisations, unemployed graduates and youth at large to join forces with us in moving for greater success for young people now and in the next generation for accessible education.
“We, as youth of ActionSA, avail ourselves to like-minded young people to devise a way forward for all young people in the country. A prosperous future for us all is within reach and we will not allow it to be stolen from us by people whose best years are long behind them. For young people to prosper the ANC must be in opposition”.