International Convention Center Occupation. © Shayne Robinson
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10 March 2021, Johannesburg — With non-violence at the core of our value system, Greenpeace Africa is disheartened by the violence displayed by the South African Police Service (SAPS) against student protesters in Braamfontein. In response, Climate and Energy Campaign Manager Happy Khambule has said: 

“The use of rubber bullets at a peaceful protest indicates the government’s contempt and disregard for the right to protest. There is a clear systemic issue with the way that the authorities and law enforcement deal with activists and popular movements, whether they are student movements or environmental activists such as the late Mam’ Fikile Ntshangase. The space for civil society to take action and exercise our rights continues to shrink. 

“Greenpeace Africa supports the efforts of students to access their right to education which proves crucial in achieving social justice. It is unacceptable that bodies like NSFAS claim that there is no money for education, yet there are billions of rands lost to irregular and wasteful expenditure by NSFAS and other government departments. [1] 

“The South African government must heed the calls of the student protesters; it is not potholes like Eskom that are too big to fail; it is education which is too important to have people disenfranchised or excluded from. Government must proactively create growth in sectors that provide and promise a future for our youth, such as the renewable energy sector.”

ENDS

Notes to the editor

[1] NSFAS erroneously allocated one student R14 million and attempted to obscure the mistake. More coverage here.

Contact details

Greenpeace Africa Press Desk: [email protected] 

Chris Vlavianos, Greenpeace Africa Communications Officer, +27798837036, [email protected]