When Nelson Mandela enrolled at Fort Hare in 1939, he was one of fewer than 300 students. At the time, Fort Hare was an independent college with limited funds for expansion. But after the University was hijacked by the apartheid state in 1960, student numbers ballooned. Fort Hare’s Student Centre was built in the 1970s to cater for this expanded student body. The Student Centre became a starting venue for countless militant protests in those apartheid years. Today it houses the offices of a hotly contested, democratic SRC representing the interests of over 12,000 students.