Sandile Dlamini, the former Student Representative Council president who was at the front lines of the protests, said yesterday’s actions were a result of their complaints not being taken seriously by the institution.
“The registration process has been taking a very long time.”
“The slow process has stressed many students as classes were supposed to start on Monday. We wanted them (MUT management) to address the issues we gave them. We even proposed solutions to the problems they were facing,” Dlamini said.
Another issue the students complained about was the 10% increase in residency fees, which Dlamini claimed was supposed to be a maximum of about 7%.
Dlamini said they were still willing to engage with MUT’s management.
Metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad said the protests were not only at the main campus but also at student residences around the city.
He said roads had to be blocked as hundreds of students took to the streets to vent their anger. Metro police were on guard outside the Lonsdale and Seaboard residences in the Point area because of arguments last night between students and owners of the accommodation. The students, he said, were demanding accommodation.
Sewpersad said police would be keeping a close eye on the residences for the rest of the week.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said 13 people were arrested for public violence yesterday and were expected to appear in court tomorrow.
MUT spokesperson Bheki Hlophe said calm had been restored at the institution and that MUT’s management had engaged with the SRC and they had made various concessions to allow the registration process to proceed seamlessly.
Hlophe said the registration would resume today and was expected to close on Friday. He added that lectures were expected to begin next Monday.
The protests followed protests by Unisa students earlier this month after the SRC called for a shutdown over students who were excluded, among other matters.