TUT to resume classes after protests
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Pretoria - Classes at the Tshwane University of Technology will resume on Thursday after they were suspended due to a students' protest, the institution said.
“Measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of students, staff and TUT property,” spokeswoman Willa de Ruyter said.
The university suspended classes at the Pretoria campus on Wednesday morning because students were burning tyres outside the gate.
“The university condemned the violent actions of students who today (Wednesday) embarked on protest action at the Pretoria Campus,” De Ruyter said.
Students were protesting against lack of funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
“Although the university has compassion for the plight of students who cannot register because of a lack of funding, mass protest will not solve the problem and will only disadvantage students who have already registered and who need to assume lectures.”
She said the university would consult with NSFAS on the matter.
Students Representative Council secretary general Sigfried Tivana said students decided to go on strike because they were frustrated.
“Massive exclusion of poor African working class students by the university left students with no option but to embark on a mass rolling action,” Tivana said.
The students wanted access to the NSFAS for all deserving and qualifying students, an end to racism in Afrikaner-dominated faculties, re-admission of all academically excluded students, provision for adequate residential accommodation, and salary cuts for all senior managers and directors.
“We have vowed to stop all operations on the university campuses and any attempt to oppose this shall be met with the brutality of the fighting forces of student masses,” Tivana said.
Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania spokesman Nare Mathekga said the organisation supported the students' protest.
“We further call for the resignation of the pseudo-communist minister of higher education and the entire Cabinet for their inability to provide access to higher education to poor African working class students,” Mathekga said.