Citizen reporter
2 minute read
11 Feb 2019
11:26 am

AKA donates R100k, hands out food at Wits following hunger strike

Citizen reporter

The rapper feels the 'indifference and silence' over the issue is 'deafening', and wants to do his bit to help.

AKA and Julius Malema | Image: Twitter

Rapper AKA has donated R100,000 to students at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) in solidarity over recent protests.

He has also committed to handing out burgers and chips on Monday. There will be a “cheque handover” at the Great Hall followed by a “food handover”, according to the university’s Student Representative Council (SRC).

In a series of tweets, the rapper, real name Kiernan Forbes, explained his decision to get involved.

“I’ve been following the saga unfolding at WITS and I feel like something needs to be done for these kids. These are the very same people we ask for support from when we as public figures need something, yet our indifference and silence in times like these is deafening,” he tweeted.

“I think we need to recognize that the government or the institutions will not have all the answers and that it’s up to us to HELP EACH OTHER… especially people in positions like mine.

“I have now donated R100,000 to the SRC humanitarian fund and you will find us @ 1.15pm at Knockando Residence Hall TOMORROW handing out some [burgers] and fries & standing in solidarity with our people. I know that won’t fix all the issues facing our students but I think it’s a start.

“I hope this will make other celebrities, private citizens and leaders, STOP and THINK about what we can do to help these young people. This is not a political initiative, this is about demonstrating that WE are the only ones who can find solutions for our own problems.

“Whatever our political affiliation, let’s come together for the students … Get off your Instagram, give the hashtags a break and let’s actually DO SOMETHING. See you tomorrow.”

The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) student council confirmed on Friday that the hunger strike by some students had ended after an agreement to meet their demands relating to financial debt and accommodation.

Wits Students Representative Council (SRC) president Sisanda Mbolekwa said the university management had agreed to assist hundreds of financially strapped students with registration, accommodation, and food.

“The Wits Hardship Fund Evaluation Committee, which includes SRC representatives has assisted 567 students in total in the last two weeks, awarded funding to 220 students for urgent accommodation, and assisted 347 returning students to register,” Mbolekwa said.

She said urgent accommodation and food to hundreds of students requiring assistance in recent weeks had been provided.

The students of Wits embarked on a hunger strike earlier this week, saying classes should be halted until students owing the university R100,000 or less be allowed to register.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman. Additional reporting by ANA)

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