Sobukwe's children: nationalism, neo-liberalism and the student protests at the University of Fort Hare and in South Africa

SOURCE: Anthropology Southern Africa
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2018
TITLE AUTHOR(S): L.J.Bank
KEYWORDS: #FEESMUSTFALL, #RHODESMUSTFALL, UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
DEPARTMENT: Economic Perfomance and Development (EPD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10866

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Abstract

This article explores the provocation of the former vice-chancellor of the University of Fort Hare, Dr Mvuyo Tom, made at the university's centenary celebrations in 2016, that the #FeesMustFall (#FMF) movement was a misguided and destructive millenarian movement, similar to the great Xhosa Cattle Killing of the 1850s. The article interrogates this proposition by reflecting on the higher education and political dynamics at Fort Hare during the #RhodesMustFall and #FMF campaigns over the past five years. The student protests are then viewed against the backdrop of Africanist war nationalism and forms of millenarianism in the region. The article unpicks some of the ideological threads within #FMF at Fort Hare and explores appropriate historical analogies for the #FMF movement. Rather than focusing on the Xhosa Cattle Killing, the article provides a different contextualisation of the politics of the #FMF movement by focusing on changes in black nationalism in the Eastern Cape during the 1930s and especially the rise of the Pan Africanist Congress in South Africa in the early 1960s.