(University of KwaZulu Natal, Sociologist at the Inkubator for Social Innovation)
How Max Price attempted to (Re) Hegemonise the UCT; #Rhodeshasfallen historical moment - on Friday morning- less than 24 hours after the world watched the First Victory of #rhodesmustfall Movement.
The subtext of his intimidation notice, to students, staff and alumni, is;
1. to undermine the sheer brilliance of the #AzaniaHouse occupation strategy...
2. to cast doubt on the intelligent tactic of bringing the entire administrative nerve center to its knees, for 30 days, thereby pressurizing management to accelerate its 'never ending consultation' approach.
3. to cast doubt on the Power that this #rhodesmustfall Movement has, to effectively mobilize transformation/ the annihilation of UCT's colonial praxis.
4. to camouflage how white violence esp in the form of legal process is the real Intimidator.
By applying the language of 'ill-legal(s)' Max Price attempts to criminalize the #rhodesmustfall Movement so that the world must now, consider the
#rhodesmustfall Movement as 'terrorists' who 'traumatized' UCT into submission... in doing this he attempts to show that ‘rhodes and his incarnates' are still ‘in charge' here.
But, the #rhodesmustfall Movement will never allow UCT be the same again
in 1968, UCT's students joined the global protest against the rejection of Prof Archie Mafeje's by UCT's management. They did a ‘sit-in' at the then Bremner Building (now Azania House for 9 days).
The, 1968, students fell for the senates "saving face measures" by accepting the erection of a plaque and the creation of an Archie Mafeje ‘Academic Freedom Research Award' which would be financed via an imposed levy; a condition that was eventually rejected by Senate.
....here's an excerpt of the events described by the, brilliant, historian & sociologist Prof.Lungisile Ntsebeza
"... By the end of the 1960s, the Mafeje affair had escaped the memory of virtually all sectors of UCT, students and staff who sat-in at Bremner building included....
It is interesting to note that almost all the students of 1968 that I interviewed in 2008 not only claimed that they never met Mafeje, they never made attempts to find out what happened to him, a clear suggestion that the Mafeje affair was, in the eyes of the students, not about Mafeje, the person, but about themselves and at best, the principle, in this case, academic freedom and the autonomy of universities..."
In 2015 ( from 13 March - 13 April 2015: 30 Days!!!) , the #rhodesmustfall Movement restored dignity to the Archie Mafeje Room by intellectualsing it, sleeping in it, living in it, occupying it with Afrikan Intellectual Praxis - ....
until, of course, the sheriff of the court arrived with an eviction notice at 7 Pm on 10 Friday 2015.
The #rhodesmustfall Movement disrupted the bastardization of Archie Mafeje's intellectual legacy which is now merely a hollow space where finance & admin meetings happen.
Wanting, to reach for more than the 1968 students, who were merely looking out for themselves, the #rhodesmustfall Movement want(ed) permanent occupation of the Archie Mafeje Room. ....
....Because... Names matter... Legacies matter... Place Matters; Afrikan Intellectuals Will Not be treated like hollow spaces whilst Colonialists like Rhodes get to live and talk from pedestals, in every way possible.
UCT is in Afrika... It is embedded in Afrikan Soil... Built by Black Afrikan Bodies ... It's a Public University ... and the #Rhodesmustfall Movement will continue to make sure that ‘the incarnates of rhodes' don't forget that this is Afrika!
11 April 2015- A response to a-revolution-deferred-why-ukzn-students-should-not-follow-the-example-of-uct
From my view; this article is a necessary contribution in the public polemic...students inside the system need to, publically, say/ write a lot more about their experiences (me included) ... it will dynamise the national imagination in many ways... but there are, also, some dangerously reductive, narrow conceptual shortcomings in this article.
It doesn't attend to the moment when the emerging divisive narrative about UCTs students as "exceptional" was shattered. UKZN's #georgemustfall was an important act of solidarity in the annihilation of colonial violence in higher education .
At Azania House over the easter weekend I found comrades from WITS and ‘(R)odes'... who had made the trip to CPT to be in solidarity and negotiate over collective futuristic strategies. ..
A brother from WITS, who is a PhD candidate in Politics detailed the colonial violence in that dept...the Sisters from (R)odes spoke about the gravity of sexual violence amongst white students on the campus which is invisiblized by management to protect the image of white students.
In other words inspite of the, colonial attempt, to make this about separate struggles, students are in an informal collective Share - IN about the violence they encounter... they are naming it... deconstructing it... and shaming it.
Also , by UCT students shattering their own silence and coming out of the closet about their ‘non-exceptionalism' they too have shown solidarity with students across south afrika. This article doesn't account for these powerful forms of hegemonic disruption over the past 3/4 weeks.
I agree that UKZN actioned transformation in important ways... most pivotal was the no tuition fees for hons, masters and phd from as early as 2003 - it gave many young people like myself from vulnerable communities a chance to build intellectual dreams. We even have a Traditional Medicine Wing/ curriculum at the Med school and an Indigenous Knowledge Center of Excellence at UKZN.
Therefore, walking into a UKZN research event immediately dispels Max's claim re; "there isn't enough black suitable qualified academics in South Afrika" because black excellence is so easy to locate at UKZN.
But students roast the campus every semester because we, too, have serious access and student retention issues... financial exclusion, limited accommodation, hunger and disgraceful displays of paternalism, misogyny, academic exploitation, high levels of rape in residences, gender based violence particularly violence against black queer womyn.
and and and and... so we need georgemustfall urgently.. patriarchy in all its violent manifestations must be annihilated. This form of detail/ analysis/ conceptualization is missing in this article... it seems like its easier to use the lens of class struggle than to consider a new form of solidarity politics amongst students in different apartheid and colonial geographies. Solidarity Protests across locations may generate the kind of consistent pressure that our hyper-corporatised universities need + pressure the Ministry Of Higher Education to attend to the inequalities in and between universities.
Finally, I am also, one of those people who has zero tolerance + shuts down any krap about students being vulgar or barbaric for messing up hollow pieces of stone like george. Because I am bored of talking... doing the labour of explaining and re-explaining.
Infact the opportunity cost of the imagination, that comes from over talking and over debating is, too damn expensive.