I am sure that Brian Kamanzi – a Cape Town-based Masters student in Electrical Engineering, evidently – is a perfectly nice chap, and means well in wanting to add his voice to the current debate about student fees in South Africa and free higher education. His view or hope or belief or whatever is that, in his words, ‘the undercurrent of the current uprisings call for radical structural adjustment in South Africa towards something that resembles a socialist future.’
Ok, never mind that ‘structural adjustment’ is a term borrowed from the World Bank and IMF, I guess I sort of get this – it sort of resembles some kind of aspiration or possibly a manifesto – but then, as if to drive home the point, we get this masterpiece of clarity and precision. Uh, what was that again? I guess the masses got the message? A luta continua!
Questions arising out of the media-captured and physically performed iconography of partisan political badges, and simultaneously the emergence of non-partisan student political groupings have cluttered the landscape of the demonstrations to the point where it has been clear that a crisis of legitimacy exists within the student space. This renders dialogue with representatives of the university and of the state fragmented, and susceptible to capture for political gain.