Student arrested as MUT protest continues

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Durban - Protests at Mangosuthu University of Technology in Umlazi continued on Tuesday, with students clashing with police and security personnel.

Lectures had to be cancelled on Monday when students went on the rampage over issues related to their registration for the new semester.

Students blockaded the Griffiths Mxenge (Mangosuthu) Highway with rubble, set fire to tyres and stoned police vehicles.

Hundreds of students were demanding that those who received funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) be allowed to register for the new semester, which resumed last week, regardless of how much they owed the institution.

Police retaliated by firing tear gas, while a water cannon was used to douse the flames.

According to a Sapa report, police on Tuesday stormed a university residence and arrested a student.

Protesters had occupied the residence and emerged to throw stones and rocks. Police fired teargas and rubber bullets.

However, police said the campus was “under control” and they were monitoring the situation.

Spokesman Thulani Zwane said that five students, aged between 24 and 30, were arrested on Monday and appeared in the Umlazi Magistrate’s court on Tuesday.

The university’s spokesman, Len Mzimela, said on Tuesday’s disruption was “a small incident”, which did not disrupt the day’s activities.

He said the university had a court interdict to prevent students from disrupting the academic programme.

“This group is not the SRC (student representative council). It’s not an SRC thing, it’s just a renegade group trying to get attention.

“Because they are not registered, we don’t know who they are and it is therefore difficult to take disciplinary action against them,” he said.

Efforts to obtain comment from the university’s SRC were unsuccessful

.

Police said a 28-year-old male student was arrested and charged with contravening the conditions of the court interdict. He will appear in Umlazi Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

The Mercury


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