ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has said that, if he were minister of higher education, he would shut all university campuses for six months, and residences for another six, so students would realise the importance of higher education.
Not one to pull any punches, Mantashe believes that withholding university education from protesting students would teach them to appreciate what it is they have.
BusinessTech reports that the senior ANC leader was attending the South African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) conference when he said that universities should shut their doors for six months and res’ for another six.
Mantashe believes that students would think twice about vandalising university property and realise how important their education was, once it’s been taken from them for a year; adding that their future is in their own hands.
“Sometimes you must deepen the crisis to resolve the crisis,” the ANC NEC member said, adding that the right to education comes with its own responsibilities.
“If we destroy universities, we won’t have them for tomorrow – and the dream of free education will be out the window,” he said.
Mantashe said that, if protesting students chose to vandalise university property then those properties should be closed down to protect them, until students were prepared to use them for what they were intended… to study.
“Unfortunately, I am not the minister,” he said.