Students attack Nzimande with stones.

Students attack Nzimande with stones. Image: GCIS

Students pelt Nzimande with stones in protest

Students at Amajuba TVET College in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal attacked minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande.

Students attack Nzimande with stones.

Students attack Nzimande with stones. Image: GCIS

Students at Amajuba TVET College in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, expressed their frustration over not receiving their funds from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) by pelting Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande’s convoy with stones as he arrived at the college.

Nzimande stoned by students

Minister Blade Nzimande’s convoy was stoned by angry students who believed he corruptly benefitted from the NSFAS funds.

According to Scrolla,the incident took place on Friday when Nzimande visited Amajuba TVET College in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal to speak to the leaders.

Nzimande has faced criticism from students nationwide who are encountering difficulties accessing funds from NSFAS.

Nzimande has refuted allegations of benefiting corruptly from the funds, dismissing them as part of a witch-hunt against him.

As reported by the SAPS, 14 students were arrested, and police dispersed the protesters, with some students later treated in hospital for injuries from rubber bullets.

KZN SAPS spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda stated that Madadeni police arrested 14 suspects for public violence.

“Madadeni police have arrested 14 suspects aged between 19 and 28 for public violence. They appeared on Monday in the Madadeni Magistrate’s Court. On Friday, 5 April, a group of students allegedly stopped the Minister of Higher Education from entering the college.”

“They allegedly threw stones, however, no injuries were reported,”

The college’s communications unit did not respond to a comment request before this article was published.

The Higher Education Ministry’s communications unit was unreachable for comments.

Impending university shutdown amid NSFAS delays

Universities in South Africa warn that the potential national shutdown by NSFAS beneficiaries poses a significant risk to students and institutions.

According to SABC News, frustrated NSFAS-funded students plan to halt university operations nationwide due to delayed allowance payments.

They squarely blame controversial companies appointed as middlemen to administer NSFAS on behalf of the government.

Head of Universities South Africa’s Funding Strategy Group Professor Bismark Tyobeka, stated under the circumstances while the legal issues are being sorted out,  universities should reimburse the students.

Some of the students issues such as NSFAS funding, shortage of textbooks, ageing infrastructure and outstanding certificates amongst others were never addressed. 

According to The Citizen, students have been left deeply disappointed with NSFAS and the University of Johannesburg after their livelihood and learning had been deeply affected.

Those part of the NSFAS scheme were recently given only R330 for a food allowance instead of the intended R1650.

According to Nsfas, the institution uploaded the incorrect registration information.

“This resulted in erroneous allowances being paid out to students,” said the bursary scheme.