Student movement needs to rethink their game plan, says Wits academic

Wits professor and activist Vishwas Satgar says that South Africa's student movement must think carefully about their tactics.

While the student movement has made massive gains, Satgar has urged them to reconsider their strategy going forward.

They've got the attention of the state and society. Their issues are on the national agenda. Maybe the key right now is to carry everyone with them.

Vishwas Satgar, Wits professor and activist

As the situation at Wits and other university campuses remains uncertain, he says institutions have been challenged by the academic articulation for a need for urgent dialogue.

Satgar explains that in order for students to rethink their tactics, there needs to be a sense of unity within the movement.

What's really important right now is that the students find a template and format for bringing it all together.

Vishwas Satgar, Wits professor and activist

He suggests that students should either institutionalise the Fees Must Fall movement, or have an assembly where plural voices can be heard in a forum.

Satgar also proposes that students should consider demonstrating in different ways, such as hosting vigils and evening teach-ins.

That means that you destress the situation, keep the momentum and call the bluff of the universities and the state for dialogue.

Vishwas Satgar, Wits professor and activist

He says that academics cannot remain silent while universities burn down and face such a serious crisis point.

Academics at Wits have called on their peers at varsities nationwide to join them in a day of action on Friday 7 October.

We're asking academics to step up. It's all about a picket in an hour, to give a symbolic message to society and government.

Vishwas Satgar, Wits professor and activist

Listen to the full conversation from The John Maytham Show (with Richard Calland):


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