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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela,  a South African activist and politician says the African National Congress (ANC) has realised that the principle of free education as promised in the Freedom Charter is not an easy one to implement. Winnie has held several government positions and headed the African National Congress Women’s League. She is a member of the ANC’s National Executive Committee.

The ANC stalwart met with soccer legend, former England and Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand at the historic Mandela house in Orlando yesterday to discuss issues affecting young people in South Africa.

Students have been protesting this week since Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande’s announcement that universities determine their own fee increases. The protest is gradually getting out of hand in most Universities.

Madikizela-Mandela says there needs to be some examination by the ANC analysing everything, including the Freedom Charter.

She says she sympathises with the protesting students but acknowledges that free education for all will be a challenge.

“How did we think we were going to get money to fund education and that we were going to have free education from the onset? It was an impossible promise but of course we made it from lack of experience.”

Madikizela-Mandela however says the government should do more to assist the plight of students.