‘Free my nigga Rassie’ is the line repeated in the chorus of a new protest song, written by Tuks students Lethabo Sebetso and Maatla Makgoana.

Two artists from the University of Pretoria (UP) have written a protest song ‘Free Rassie’ in support of the 27 Tuks students who were arrested in an Afrikaans Must Fall protest earlier this year, and it is steadily gaining support on Soundcloud.

Political science student, Lethabo Sebetso (performing name, Focalistic), and psychology student, Maatla Makgoana (Power), say they deliberately wrote the song with a multitude of politically -charged statements, which they say are a means of communicating how they felt about the arrests.

“I felt the only way for us to portray a really strong message was to be provocative… ‘Cause then there’s no way people wouldn’t feel that these black kids are angry,” said Makgoana.

The song addresses many of the issues raised by the Fees Must Fall movement, including the ‘missing middle’. A line in the first verse goes ‘Got me feelin’ like I’m in apartheid now’.

“Apartheid had a different angle, right now we’re facing the same entrapment but from a different government,” said Sebetso. “As a black kid in the middle class you can’t necessarily get a loan, and you can’t necessarily pay university fees.”

‘Fuck the popo, Imma shoot the 5-0’, is another line which Makgoena says was a response to the news that cops were using violence against protesters.

“Black cops were used to perpetuate it [the violence], and as a black child that hurt,” said Makgoena.

Former Tuks SRC president, Rassie Rasethaba, whom the song was originally written about, says that he was honoured that the artists had “spoken out against injustice”. Rasethaba feels the song addresses “more than the UP arrests but [also] the collective struggles that young black people face in country”.

‘Free Rassie’ has gained a steady support base on social media, and earlier this week was approaching 2000 listens on Soundcloud.

“It [the song] was like a message to the political powers that something needs to happen, and it needs to happen quick,” said Sebetso.

The court case for the 24 students who were charged has been postponed until July.