Faith Leaders lament the student fee crisis engulfing the country
WCRLF Chairperson, Pastor Xola Skosana joins Archbishop Thabo Makgoba and faith leaders from diverse religions to address the student fees crisis at Wits University. See faith leaders’ statement below:
We the Church leaders of South Africa lament the student fee crisis engulfing the country. We declare this a national crisis.
We lament that we have not discerned the signs of the times. We have failed our students and not heard their voices.
We lament and strongly condemn the unnecessary use of violence and police brutality against our students and children. We call for the immediate release of all detained under these circumstances.
We further lament the exclusion of the poor from our spaces of higher education because of unaffordabilty. We recognize that the majority of these students are black and this entrenches inequality in our nation and denies educational opportunity.
The Bible calls us to identify with the poor and marginalised. The church therefore has an obligation to stand in solidarity with the students on campuses around the nation.
Consequently church leaders have resolved to today visit the WITS campus to express our solidarity. We are committing ourselves to creating courageous spaces where South Africans are able to listen to one another and to the voice of God.
We call on university authorities and government to join us in listening to students and avoiding violent behavior that shuts down dialogue. Only through deep dialogue, listening and courageous action will we be able to find lasting long-term solutions.
We especially call on the government to provide adequate resources to redress the evils of the past and to allow the poor to access tertiary education.
As Church leaders leaders we commit to engage and journey with all concerned with these issues.