South Africa 

HOW NMMU FMF LOST THIS ROUND

The power struggle within NMMU FMF has been their own downfall. Students within the movement have been disillusioned by leaders whose intentions weren’t in the best interest of the cause.

There was only one reason why NMMU FMF had taken the decision to ban DASO students early in the shutdown – simply because the movement leadership, led by EFFSC and SASCO, were alleged to have conspired with local party leaders and to have been taking orders from such political powers within the Metro.

Now, followers of the movement have realised that the NMMU FMF leaders exploited the students by using the #FeesMustFall as a blanket to cover their corrupt collaboration behind ‘closed doors’. The FMF leaders were even seen meeting with ANC leaders in public restaurants! This isn’t breaking news! Students have been posting about such activity on social media recreational forums. There is no justification for such meetings when the theoretical enemy of FMF is the leading government.

But FMF had declared NMMU as their opposition despite universities acting as separate institutions under the indirect control of the umbrella leadership of the government.

Now, FMF has realised that despite their 7-week effort of a university shutdown, their academic futures are at risk if they do not engage in NMMU’s e-learning programme.

Their solution?

Reverse their demands and seek a court interdict to order the university to help them complete the academic year, by providing free food and accommodation for the next 2 months as well as equipment to engage in the e-learning programme.

So, NMMU FMF wish for the university to solve the problems they created for themselves?

The university’s e-learning programme included free Wi-Fi at municipal libraries and zero data fees for students accessing NMMU online platforms.

But NMMU FMF claimed this to be exclusionary as a number of students have no laptops, computers, smartphones and other technological devices that are compatible with the e-learning system.

Well, there are multiple computer labs across all four campuses in Port Elizabeth.

Oh, wait. That’s right, the university is under a shutdown.

An FMF spokesperson said: “As the #FeesMustFall movement, we want the university to open but not to exclude any student on any basis – whether it is academic, racial or based on gender.”

The POST-MORTEM

The students within the NMMU FMF movement put their future and faith in the hands of leaders who undoubtedly failed them and subsequently tarnished the credibility of the cause they have been fighting for.

NMMU FMF students are very much in a catch-22 situation. But the blame for this position are not being directed at the correct guilty parties.

Regardless, NMMU is continuing with the e-learning system, and it would be best for all students to do what they can to take part in the system and finish the hellish rollercoaster that is the 2016 academic year.

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