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Meeting with Deputy President Ramaphosa

Chanel Retief

dbc98f8c-aae7-446c-8731-240696606391South Africa’s Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, made an address at Rhodes University on Sunday the 7th May 2017. The address was held at Barratt Lecture Complex as there was a high anticipation regarding attendance from staff, students and citizens alike. Members from SASCO and NEHAWU were present and prepared to ask any difficult questions regarding the recent strikes by workers. Also in attendance were members of the SRC and Vice Chancellor, Dr Sizwe Mabizela.

Ramaphosa encouraged students to promote transformation and find innovative ways to promote shared prosperity and equitable growth. Ramaphosa stated the only way that universities would be made more accessible to everyone in South Africa was if the new generation thought progressively into the future. “Young people must rise to these occasions and come up with solutions. Every generation comes with its missions” he said.


At the end of his address, there were some who were not satisfied with the outcome. Staff members and students prepared themselves for a discussion on the recent worker strikes at Rhodes. Others questioned his views on decolonising the university. One student went as far as to say that they were disappointed in Ramaphosa’s presentation.

Questions were raised on what Ramaphosa’s role was in the Marikana Massacre. Ramaphosa response to the questions was “My role in Marikana was to participate in trying to stop further workers from being killed.” This answer did not seem to satisfy a number of students.

The meeting ended abruptly with Ramaphosa stating that he needed to leave so no further questions could be taken.

For more information on the event, follow @activateonline on Twitter.

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