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TUT students to take management to court

Pretoria - Student leaders at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) will take the university's management to court on Tuesday for allegedly failing to adhere to a court order.

“Students might be allowed back into residences but [that] will not take away the fact that the management's actions was a violation of human rights and... undermined the decision of [the] high court,” Socialist Youth Movement (SYM) national convenor Elmond Magedi said in a statement.

Tshwane University of Technology in Soshanguve. File photo: Masi Losi. Credit: Independent Newspapers

Student leaders got a court order against the university after it evicted students from residences following protests.

The SYM and TUT's Student Representative Council on Saturday obtained an interdict at the High Court in Pretoria against the unlawful eviction of students. The university was ordered to pay the costs of the application.

“[The] SYM has maintained that Prof [Nthabiseng] Ogude [the vice chancellor and principal] acted illegally in ordering the evictions in the first place.”

Magedi said her defiance of the court order showed she took herself more seriously than anyone else. He demanded a public apology and the suspension of executive managers who “deliberately defied” the court ruling.

He called for students to continue protesting as the court interdict did not stop students from protesting but merely restricted the disruption of academic activities.

On Monday the protest-hit institution announced it would reopen all its campuses this week. Students were protesting against a shortfall of money from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

When the university suspended classes last Thursday, it evicted students from the institution's residences and obtained a court order to stop protests at its campuses.

Spokeswoman Willa de Ruyter said on Monday security had been tightened at all campuses and the registration period was extended.

“In order to ensure no students are disadvantaged by the recent events unfolding at the university, students will be allowed to register without penalties until February 14. Further to this, TUT's online registration system is also accessible 24 hours a day.”

Students would be handed a copy of the court interdict and action would be taken against anyone who transgressed it. De Ruyter could not be reached for comment on Tuesday regarding the students' court action. - Sapa

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