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Fees Must Fall 2017 has already kicked off on three South African campuses, marking the third year of protests for free tertiary education. So if you’re looking to stay on top of the events at the various universities, here are 13 Twitter accounts to help you keep up with the quickly unfolding situation.
The official accounts
CPUT (Cape Peninsula University of Technology)
This week has been punctuated by sporadic flare ups in violence which private security have… https://t.co/8UVmyEdQMr
— CPUT (@CPUT) October 26, 2017
CPUT’s official account mainly offers links to official statements on Facebook. It provides updates on previous happenings (like how security was “forced to fire stun grenades after protesters attempted to storm the Bellville library”) and links to court orders issued against students.
UFS (University of Free State)
— UFS/UV (@UFSweb) October 23, 2017
Last Friday, 36 students were arrested in Bloemfontein after protesting the proposed 8% fee hike. The university has since issued only one tweet about the issue that links to a twice-updated article, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep tabs on the institution in the coming weeks.
We remain resolute on our call for Free Education in order to improve access particularly for… https://t.co/6xK7zk1SUu
— UFS SRC (@UFS_SRC) October 24, 2017
The UFS SRC links to Facebook statements that include updates on their stance for free education, and details on upcoming marches and mass meetings.
UCT (University of Cape Town)
The Jammie Shuttle services have been suspended until further notice. Please use alternative means to get to campus. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/2hXQgB6kbd
— UCT (@UCT_news) October 26, 2017
UCT’s official page offers updates on campus happenings — including whether or not “operations will continue as usual” and whether Jammie shuttles are running. Keep in mind that, in previous years, the institution often professed that classes would run despite being aware protesters were planning interruptions.
SRC mobile office open. UCT is shutdown, no Jammies.
Mass meeting 1pm on Jammie Plaza today. pic.twitter.com/Q9Jwn2trvK
— UCT SRC (@UCT_SRC) October 26, 2017
UCT’s SRC account is probably more reliable when it comes to knowing if classes will continue or not. The account gives updates on upcoming mass meetings and marches, and provides some images of what’s going down on campus.
— VARSITY (@varsitynews) October 26, 2017
UCT’s official student newspaper offers quick updates on protests, as well as live videos and other media from the front lines of the movement.
Reporters and first-hand accounts
Tshiamo Malatji (UFS)
— Tshiamo Malatji (@Tshiatji) October 26, 2017
Tshiamo Malatji is a reporter and activist, and provides information from the main protests on campus. Malatji spends extensive time with the protesters and has the clearest Twitter to follow when keeping up with the situation at UFS.
The police on campus told the girls who recently got robbed to go to the police station, as they are at work! #UFSShutdown
— #ScoopACabBloem (@MogojeO) October 25, 2017
@MogojeO has a pretty varied feed of memes and jokes, but the account was a go-to source for updates during the past week’s protests, and may be a useful follow for the coming weeks.
Ashraf Hendricks (Cape Town)
— Ashraf Hendricks (@AshrafRSA) October 25, 2017
Ashraf Hendricks is a photographer and reporter who follows protests on UCT and CPUT campuses. He mainly posts photos and videos, but will post the occasional overheard comment from students.
Jameel @indie_impimpi (Cape Town)
— Jameel (@indie_impimpi) October 25, 2017
Jameel is an author for The Daily Vox who also follows Cape Town protests, providing real-time updates on marches and mass meetings.
Velani Ludidi (Cape Town)
— Veve (@LudidiVelani) October 24, 2017
For those worried about data, Velani Ludidi posts more plain text tweets than images or videos — though he does offer those as well. Ludidi tweets in both English and isiXhosa, though his protest updates usually come in the former.
Lonwabo Marele (Cape Town)
— Lonwabo Marele (@LobzMarele) October 25, 2017
Lonwabo Marele doesn’t post as many first-hand accounts, though he does use Twitter to retweet other important updates. What Marele does, though, is stream live videos of marches and spats between students and police, which may come in handy when faced with conflicting media reports.
Aleya Banwari (Cape Town)
— Aleya Banwari (@leya_banwari) October 26, 2017
Aleya Banwari is a UCT student who tweets updates from the campus in the form of text and images. She also uses the platform to retweet calls for financial assistance from arrested students, and provides more insight into the why of the movement, rather than just the what.
Let us know in the comments below if we missed out an important account!