Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says South Africa should learn from other countries which have free education that the the #FeesMustFall movement is demanding.
Speaking at his installation as Chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday, Mogoeng said he did not have a solution but suggested looking to countries which had achieved free education.
He narrated how - in his capacity as President of the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa - he had recently travelled to Algeria where he was “shocked to learn that there is free education at every level”.
Quipping that this may be because Algeria was an oil rich country, Mogoeng said: “Everything always, or almost always, depends on resources, maybe we will do well to learn from them.”
Last month, President Jacob Zuma released the report on the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training. This came after protesting students brought teaching and learning to a standstill demanding #FeesMustFall last year.
In his address at Mogoeng’s installation ceremony UKZN Central SRC president Sandile Zondi said the chief justice arrived at an “interesting time when students have escalated the debate,” about - among others - sections of the Constitution. These confers to all the right to education and property or land.
“The knowledge production space can never be the same...the #FeesMustFall campaign is not only about free education but it goes beyond teaching and learning...we have brought the land question back into the discourse and for further interrogation...” Zondi said.
UKZN Chair of Council, Reverend Dr Vukile Mehana, said the #FeesMustFall call was very important for the future of the development of academics.
“When we hear the cries and laments of our children for free education, we take that very seriously and we will try as the council, to the best of our ability, to ensure that no South African child who has chosen this university must be excluded simply because of economic reasons,” said Mehana.