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Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has managed to raise R660 000 from cash donations for a fund she established for members of the #FeesMustFall movement, her office said on Tuesday.
Two weeks ago, Madonsela pledged R20 000 to the movement.
AngloGold Ashanti chairperson Sipho Pityana and corporate Liberty had each pledged R300 000, and former Black Management Forum (BMF) president Nolitha Fakude pledged R40 000.
The pledges were made at the BMF’s 40-year anniversary dinner in Midrand on Friday night.
“Expressing gratitude to the donors, Madonsela said the contributions would go a long way in ensuring that it caters for the needy students who continue to struggle with university fees,” spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said in a statement on Tuesday.
She added that the contributors’ decision to concern themselves with the problems that students were facing was an indication that they understood that, as long as there was injustice somewhere, there could never be sustainable peace anywhere.
The gestures should also act as a motivating factor to others to join in and play their part in contributing towards a lasting solution to the crisis, she added.
Students have been protesting for free higher education since September 19.
They rejected Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande’s announcement that universities could decide their own fee increases for 2017, provided these were capped at 8%.
The “missing middle” and students on government loans would be exempt from paying the increase.
Students have called for all universities to rally behind them, and remain shut until government commits to free education.