Protests are OK, but not violent ones: students

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Protests are OK, but not violent ones: students

The academic year has got off to a rocky start for tertiary institutions as campuses experience unrest

Sisanda Aluta Mbolekwa and Deepika Naidoo

Students at various tertiary institutions say while they understood the challenges that gave rise to protest action, they were not comfortable with the resulting violence and disruptions.

For some, such as student leader Sandile Mdlongwa, the fallout is even more severe. “I suffered depression, became an alcoholic and a heavy smoker with serious anger issues,” he said.

Mdlongwa, once a University of Johannesburg BA politics and international relations student, has been arrested more than five times and suspended repeatedly and eventually expelled for five years. “I became a social reject. Many people concluded that I blew an opportunity to get education, forgetting that I was fighting for no fees on their behalf.”..

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