BLF Student Movement supports #NationalShutdown of universities

BLF Student Movement supports #NationalShutdown of universities

Fees Must Fall protest at Parliament on October 21, 2015 in Cape Town. Image credit: Getty Images

Black First Land First Student Movement (BLF-SM) condemns Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, for not meeting the demands of the South African Union of Students (SAUS), after being put on terms to do so within 7 days from 16 January this year failing which a national shutdown of all universities will be embarked upon.

We support the call by SAUS for a national shutdown all campuses until all its demands are met.

BLF-SM is not surprised by the actions of Nzimande. Heis the same minister who at the height of the #FeesMustFall protests refused to listen to the call for Free Education.

We know that the pseudo-communist worked in cahoot with Sizwe Nxasana, the former chairperson of the National Students’ Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to throw poor students to the vampires called banks through their Ikusasa Lethu Programme.

It took the gallant efforts and resilient spirit of the the Fees Must Fall Movement to achieve, among other things, Free Education for the poor. Also giant steps were made towards making sure that students from working class families are able to go to university even if their families can’t afford it. Nzimande has even taken away the progressive grant subsidy of the Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET) that covered the shortfall of fee increases up to 8% and enabled millions of students to register even when carrying historic debt.

Today Nzimande is in cahoots with the Universities South Africa (USAf) to action a mass financial exclusion bloodbath in the public universities.

We are not surprised by this because ever since this new dawn government of Cyril Ramaphosa came into place it has sought to reverse all gains made by the poor during the Zuma administration.

BLF-SM calls on all progressive forces to join the #NationalShutdown until the following demands of the students are met:

‘1. Allocation of debt relief fund for clearance of student debts and all students with historical debts must be allowed to register.
2. Students must be given their academic records and certificates despite them owing universities.
3. Post-graduate students and B-Techs must be allowed to register. We are demanding postgraduate funding.
4. Correct accreditation process for private accommodation.
5. Free registration for vulnerable, poor and missing middle students.
6. Re- opening of NSFAS applications for new students and walk inns.
7. Revision of the DHET bursary guidelines to include submissions made by SRC Presidents last year especially on off campus students allowances and free sanitary towels for womxm students.
8. Increase of enrollment quotas amidst the high pass matric rate of 83.1 %.
9. A clear implementation plan for student Mental health, safety and security in campuses.
10. Inclusion of UNISA in all allowances.
11. DHET must address the shortage of student accommodation, decaying infrastructure for teaching and learning.
12. Expedite the NSFAS appeals process and elimination of n+1 and reinstatement of n+2 rule.
13. Food security for hungry poor students who are unfunded.
14. Improving the central application process and redesign the CACH to avoid excluding students.
15. Fees must fall in all universities that increased fees without consultation with the SRC.’

Let’s defend the gains of students to ensure that no academically deserving student suffers financial exclusion.


Issued by the Black First Land First-Student Movement
27 January 2020

Thobani Zikalala
National Secretary for Student Affairs
Cell: 0742467848



In 1997, CIEX a private investigations company was commissioned by the government to investigate apartheid era crime and corruption. The report submitted to former President Thabo Mbeki suggested that billions were stolen by white capital of which R26 billion is recoverable immediately. 

In August 2011 the former Public Protector indicated that she would conduct investigations into the matter of the stolen R26 billion. Black First Land First (BLF) has since 7 September 2015 been engaged in direct action to get the Public Protector to finalise her report in this respect. 

Despite the fact the three investigations – Ciex, Heath and the Davis Panel of Experts – had found that ABSA had illegally benefitted from certain lifeboats obtained from SARB, the previous Public Protector did not do anything meaningful in this respect and she  eventually vacated her office at the end of her tenure. After a successful meeting with BLF on the issue, the new Public Protector indicated in her preliminary report that ABSA had illegally benefitted in the amount of R3.2 billion from lifeboats obtained from SARB during the apartheid era. This finding by the Public Protector has vindicated BLF. This means that ABSA’s wrongdoings is now supported by four reports, two of which – Ciex report and the Public Protector’s preliminary report – calling for ABSA to pay back the money. 

BLF has subsequently planned a new series of actions which is aimed at raising awareness about how ABSA illegally benefitted from the nation’s money.  

On 28 January, BLF successfully held nationwide pickets at 50 ABSA outlets. This kick started the movement’s rolling protest action against ABSA to force it to pay back the money. This was followed, on the evening of Saturday 28 January, by a successful public dialogue on “why must ABSA pay back the money”.

BLF will continue to intensify its actions against ABSA until it pays back the money.

BLF is calling on the nation, progressive organisations, the church, revolutionary people’s movements, the revolutionary students and individuals to join the call for ABSA to pay back the money! We invite you to join us under the following details:

Date: 17 February 2017 
Event: March to the South African Reserve Bank 
Assembly Point: Church Square, Tshwane
Time: 10:00
Contact Person: Khumbu Bavu (National Coordinator, BLF) 
Cell: 062 695 4985
Email: [email protected]

SARB has not done anything to protect the nation’s assets stolen by white capital. Also  successive governors of SARB have defended white capital. The current leadership of SARB is beholden to the white owned banks and capital and therefore there is little reason to think that they will cooperate with the Public Protector in a manner that would help to return our stolen billions! The purpose of the march to SARB is to compel ABSA to pay back the money. 

Your presence will be greatly appreciated. BLF will not stop until ABSA pays back the money which in turn must be used towards realizing Fees Must Fall and empowering the unemployed youth. 

BLF National Convener
Andile Mngxitama 

7 February 2017

Contact details 

Black First Land First Email:[email protected]
Facebook: Black First Land First | Twitter: @black1stland1st

The Black First Land First Student Movement (BLF-SM) Maintains The Call For Free Black Centered Socialist Education and Rejects the Fees Commission.

The Black First Land First Student Movement (BLF-SM) Maintains The Call For Free Black Centered Socialist Education and Rejects the Fees Commission.

Since the inception of the BLF-SM, we have maintained the clear call for Free Black Centered Socialist Education. This call is rooted in the liberation of black people and the total crushing of the anti-black system that maintains black oppression. We want decolonised education in a decolonised society, not the opposite as the formation of commission suggests.

BLF-SM has consistently called for the student and worker alliance to use any means necessary to bring about this decolonised education in a decolonised country. Since our inception, we have pushed the ideological question on the ability to decolonise an institution in a colonised country. Linking the black struggle from the academic institution through to the land question, with its potential to change colonial patterns of ownership from white to black as well as pushing direct action to centres of white-power.

Practically BLF-SM works within the Black Consciousness (BC) / Pan Afrikanist (PA) block to mobilise students and workers ensuring ideological clarity to prevent us from falling into the same traps that the #FeesMustFall (FMF) encountered last year.

One of these traps, was the co-option of the struggle by formations aligned to the African National Congress (ANC) Government, namely: Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), South African Students Congress Organisation (SASCO), African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) & Young Communist League (YCL). The co-option of the struggle ultimately led to the sell-out agreement of “no fee increment”, while the broad student collective insisted and called for Free Black Centered Socialist Education on deaf ears.

Post this moment, the ANC government announced a Fees Commission whose “mandate is to inquire into the feasibility of free higher education and training in South Africa”. This commission was due to announce its findings at the beginning of October 2016. This commission has just started to receive public submissions and is now scheduled to conclude in May 2017.

Recently the Minister of Education, Blade Nzimande has met with Student Representative Council leaders, who have consistently sold out their constituency owing to the incestuous relations with government as well as academic institution management with the view to normalise a forthcoming fee increase announcement for 2017.

This has subsequently resulted in a body known as South African Union of Students (SAUS) making a broad call to the student population to shutdown all institutions of higher learning nationally, and to march to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and Chamberof Mines to request the funding of free higher education. This SAUS is primary comprised of SRC members. A large portion of these SRC members are a component of the African National Congress (ANC) represented through Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), South African Students Congress Organisation (SASCO), African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) & Young Communist League (YCL), and in many cases the same individuals who sold out the struggle for Free Black Centered Socialist Education.

What does it mean when the students who are aligned to the same ANC who maintains black oppression, now call on society to protest against a fee increase? What does it mean when the very political formations and in some cases the same persons who sold out the struggle in 2015 want us to come out and respond to its call for protest?

The Black First Land First – Student Movement reminds the broader #FMF community that unprincipled unity is no unity at all. We remind all, that our struggle is not a struggle of one moment in the streets, but a lifetime commitment to the total liberation of the black majority, through bringing about a decolonised society that puts black people first. To this end, we must commit ourselves to the principle of truth telling. Therefore, fidelity to this principle means among many other things, guarding against being used as protest cows by unscrupulous Sunday school politicians of the PYA! We shall not be in the streets for narrow ANC fights that do little or nothing to move us to our desired goal which free black centred socialist minded education!

Noting the internal contradictions and the political opportunism, we critically locate our enemy as white-supremacy, and its agents that act in its interest of maintain institutions as spaces of commodification of education for the benefit of white people. The ANC government, management of institutions of higher learning, police, private security, as well as those from the academia who trivialise black suffering through the reductive economics argument; these are all the agents of white-supremacy. White-supremacy, benefits white people and is complimented by and through white systems like capitalist economic control which plays out through backward funding structures like NSFAS, that humiliate and remind black students of their wretched of the earth status annually.

We thus maintain our broad call for direct and indirect action against the white supremacist system as well as those agents who act on its behalf. The call is broad, and all action will be informed by the readiness of the people, and is fundamentally separate from the call of those agents, who work to maintain black oppression.

Black First Land First – Student Movement: What we want?

1) Free Black Centered Socialist Education – An education that is rooted in putting black people first both in learning content, how it is transferred, who transfers and directed by the primary purpose which is black liberation. The basis of this education must comprise of transforming the institution and all stakeholders through conscientisiation of the black struggle for liberation, and consisting of an inward intersectional struggle outlook that deals with oppression of black people within the struggle for a decolonised society. An education that is socialist in nature, ending the capital exploits of learning, but again place black people as the centre of the institution.

2) End Outsourcing – Insource all workers, paying all a living wage and ensuring full institutional benefits for employees.

3) Shackville TRC – A national commission based on justice for students and workers. Immediate demilitarisation of campuses, insourced security must serve to protect students and workers, all students and workers who have been suspended, interdicted, expelled, dismissed, financially and/or academically excluded must return; this as the basis for commission to seek justice for participants in the broad #FeesMustFall Struggle

Black First Land First – Student Movement: How is a decolonised education made possible?

1) White Corruption: The public protector must complete and ensure a return of the R26Billion stolen from the reserve bank at the latter stages of apartheid by white people. Post the completion of this, we must then target other cases involving white corruption

2) Black Agenda – Nationalisation: All mineral wealth must be socialised to the benefit of the people.

3) Black Agenda – Take Back the Land: Land redistribution without compensation

4) Black Agenda – Sankarism: Reduce government wasteful expenditure, including sale of all luxury commodites, a reduction of salaries, and a shrinking of unjustifiable ministerial positions

Black First Land First – Student Movement: What is to be done?

1) Speak Out: Through pamphlets, mass media, social media and direct communication we must unite the black community for Free Black Centered Socialist Education and Land Return.

2) National Shutdown: We must shutdown all institutions of higher learning and strategic national key points until peoples power moves the ANC government to act for the black majority.


17 August 2016

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail: [email protected]

Zanele Lwana
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 486 9087
Mail: [email protected]

Lindsay Maasdorp
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 915 2957
Mail: [email protected]



The Black First Land First Student Movement (BLF-SM) recognises that the year 2016 has seen the victimisation of students and workers across South Africa for their participation in protest action during #FeesMustFall and #EndOutsourcing late last year and this year.