TUT SRC vow to continue strike
Pretoria - The strike at the Tshwane University of Technology will continue until the students decided otherwise, the student representative council said on Thursday.
SRC president Mboniseni Dladla said the students would not be threatened with evictions from the institution's residences.
“No lies spread by the university spokesperson should be taken serious. We've consulted our lawyers and can assure all TUT students that threats of evictions will not see the light of day this time around,” he said.
Dladla said a meeting between management of the institution and the SRC did not yield any results.
“Today's discussions were fruitless as the management shared jokes and disbanded the meeting without any discussion on students' issues,” said Dladla.
“The university, instead of attempting to resolve the students' issues, decided to inform staff members to report to work today resulting in students closing gates and barring workers from accessing the premises (at the) Pretoria campus,” he said.
The institution earlier said it was forced to close its gates again on Thursday after students went on the rampage.
Spokeswoman Willa de Ruyter said this was despite university management accepting a memorandum of grievances from the students and agreeing to enter into talks with the SRC.
“The university decided to enter into talks with student leaders despite them violating the protocol in place for protest action,” she said.
Classes were suspended on Tuesday and Wednesday because of protests by students about a lack of funds in the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
TUT staffers returned to work on Wednesday, but were told on Thursday to stay away due to the strike action.
Dladla apologised to the staff.
“The central SRC apologises to the university workers for the unfortunate circumstance they find themselves in.” he said.
“We urge them to pledge solidarity with the students and elevate the strike to demanding the resignation of the vice chancellor (Nthabiseng Ogude) who has been central to all the challenges we find ourselves in today,” he said, adding that “arrogant academics” had no place in the institution.
He called on the other unions active at the institution not to fight them but instead express the worker's concerns.