Appeal for accommodation for TUT students

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IOL news jan 29 TUT

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The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) wilfully acted in contempt of a court order when it refused to re-admit students evicted from their residences, the High Court in Pretoria ruled. File photo: Masi Losi

Pretoria - An emergency appeal was made to the ANC Regional Parliamentary Constituency Office (PCO) to find accommodation for students at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, the ANC said on Saturday.

The appeal was made by the SA Students Congress (SASCO) and the university's Students Representative Council (SRC) on Friday, to find accommodation for 45 students, Gauteng MPL Jacqueline Mofokeng said.

The accommodation was for students who came from distant parts of the country and had no resources to immediately travel home, Mofokeng said.

The university closed on Thursday, until further notice in a bid to protect lives and property, university spokeswoman Willa de Ruyter said at the time.

“Residence students this 1/8Friday 3/8 morning left all the university's campuses peacefully after they were requested to evacuate residences by 7.30am,” De Ruyter said.

Mofokeng said the request for accommodation was transferred to the St George's hotel in Irene, Centurion.

“The hotel has donated some rooms with meals for 45 young men and women, spending R22,275 per day,” she said.

The accommodation at the hotel was part of a Private Public Partnership that the hotel had with the African National Congress PCO.

The Socialist Youth Movement (SYM), and the TUT SRC launched an urgent application to the interdict in the Pretoria High Court on Saturday.

“Closing the residences would place thousands of students on the streets, as most of us are from far and without the means to travel home,” said SYM SRC member Zikho Leshabane in a statement.

On Friday, the university obtained a court order to stop protests at its campuses.

“In view of the ongoing student unrest, TUT... obtained an interdict to prevent anyone from participating in protest action on any of TUT's campuses, to disrupt TUT activities or cause damage to TUT property,” De Ruyter said at the time.

Students have been protesting against a lack of funds from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande on Thursday, announced that R1 billion would be added to the NSFAS.

De Ruyter said on Saturday, that the there was no protest action at the campus.

She said that the situation on all campuses would be monitored throughout the weekend and, once management was satisfied that it was safe for people to return to campus, an announcement would be made.

Sapa


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