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Anarchist Statement in Solidarity with Swazi Students at Wits University
southern africa | education | press release Saturday January 16, 2010 21:24 by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front - Wits Anarchist Society zacf at zabalaza dot net
We condemn the recent unilateral decision by Wits management to no longer accept many Swazi students’ medical aid provider, Swazi Med, for the current academic year. This is an unfair move by the university so close to the registration period. It means an additional burden on students from one of the poorest and most authoritarian states in the world, many of whom come from poor backgrounds and study in South Africa not out of choice but necessity.
Unfortunately, this attack on poor students is not an isolated incident but another move by the university in its programme of neo-liberal restructuring . This started in 2000 when the university’s “non-core” services were privatised. Soon after, upfront payments were introduced and have continued to rise steeply ever since.
That the latest move affects only international students is another sign of the xenophobia – coming not even two years after the pogroms in which tens of thousands of immigrants were driven from their homes - which is endemic to the system of nation-states that seeks to divide the poor and working class, including students. When we are divided according to our nationalities, it is easier for the South African government and the Wits Corporation to exploit us.
We support the Swazi students and the Swaziland Solidarity Network and call on fellow students and staff to join in solidarity in their fight against this new injustice. Only the exploiter wins if we are divided; we can win only if we unite.
We strive for an end to capitalism, neoliberalism and the commodification of education.
Free education for all!
Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front