‘Strong leadership ability and good marks’ – #FeesMustFall pair net jobs at NMMU
\n Athena O’Reilly And Siyamtanda Capa | 2017-01-23 11:13:03.0\n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n \n\n\n \n \n
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\n \n \n \n Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University campus. File Photo \n \n \n \n
Image by: wikivillage.co.za\n \n \n \n
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\n Two student leaders who were pivotal in the #FeesMustFall protest at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University last year have been offered year-long jobs at the university.\n
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Nathi Dwayi‚ 23‚ and Thanduxolo Nkala‚ 25‚ will work at NMMU’s law faculty as teaching and research assistants until the end of the year.
Nkala was among three students arrested at a meeting at NMMU’s south campus during protests in October. He was charged in terms of the Regulations of Gathering Act but the case has since been dropped.
Asked to comment on his new job‚ Nkala said: “I would be more than willing to participate but I find the narrative that you are trying to drive very mischievous and malicious. For that reason I would rather not comment.”
Dwayi’s appointment is conditional upon him completing an LLB qualification and obtaining an appropriate average for admission to a master’s programme.
He declined to comment on his job‚ only saying: “Speak to my employer. The protests came after we had applied.”
NMMU spokeswoman Zandile Mbabela said the law faculty employed students who were registered to do their master’s every year.
She said the university believed the two former #FeesMustFall leaders were among the best students in the faculty which led to them being offered the positions.
“Both students have displayed strong leadership characteristics throughout their undergraduate qualifications and both have impressive co-curricular records.”
But former SRC president Nicholas Nyati was critical of the move‚ saying: “NMMU is flawed‚ the employment of these two individuals is a tactic used by the university to dilute the people who were causing chaos on campus”.
“There are people here [involved in the protests] who are not doing this for the benefit of students. They are doing it for their own personal gain and are trying to gain relevance‚ whether it is political relevance or networking – they are in it for themselves.
“If I were offered a job by the university when the cause I had been fighting for has not been reached‚ I think it only morally acceptable to turn it down.”
But NMMU SA Student Congress chairman Bamanye Matiwane welcomed the employment.
And Mbabela said: “NMMU students are encouraged to think independently and critically‚ and to engage in active citizenry.
“That students choose to exercise these traits is‚ in our view‚ not reason enough to prejudice them should they choose to take up opportunities made available to them by the university.”
Concerned Association of Parents and Others for Tertiary Education at Universities committee member Robert Griebenow said it was frustrating the #FeesMustFall leaders would be employed by the university.
“We are furious. They have done so much damage to so many people’s lives‚” he said.
– TMG Digital/HeraldLive
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