Student activism and contestation for political space at the former University of the North (Qwaqwa branch), 1986-1996

  • Chitja Twala University of the Free State, South Africa
Keywords: Student activism, University of the North, Turfloop, UNIQWA, Ideological differences, Liberation, Azanian People's Organisation, Political activists, Student politics, Studente-aktivisme, Universiteit van die Noorde, Ideologiese verskille, Bevryding, Politieke aktiviste, Student-politiek


The history of student activism and contestation for political space as exhibited by the student organisations at one of the former University of the North’s (Turfloop) satellite campus or branch, UNIQWA, remains untold and scarcely documented, despite the available evidence that UNIQWA experienced student protests between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s. There were occasions whereby student political activists and their organisations were depicted as a united core, despite their political affiliations. However, at some point the underlying ideological differences took centre stage in the contest for political space on campus. This article attempts to highlight the role played by UNIQWA student formations and their contestation for political space, and the impact this had on the advancement of the liberation cause.


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