varsity on the boil

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

The situation at Mangosuthu University of Technology remains tense after its closure and expulsion of student leaders.

The student representative council (SRC), which falls under the South African Democratic Students Movement (Sadesmo), claims that since it came to office it has not had a good relationship with the university management, which is allegedly pro-ANC.

SRC president Brian Masondo said management had told them that student leaders who belong to Sadesmo, which is aligned to the IFP, would not be allowed to register.

"This did not surprise us because since Sadesmo took over leadership of the campus at the beginning of the year, we have been deprived of all benefits that the previous SRC, led by Sasco, received," said Masondo.

He said issues that led to the strike are politically motivated.

A meeting to be held behind closed doors today by management is expected to decide when the university will be reopened.

The university was closed on Friday after four days of rioting by students.

Masondo accused university management of being aligned to the ANC.

He also accused it of ignoring issues raised by students through the SRC simply because the newly elected SRC is IFP-aligned.

Students were ordered to leave the university, but those who were stranded because their homes are far away, pleaded with management to accommodate them for the night. By late Saturday all students had left the campus.

Students are worried since nobody knows when the university would reopen.

The students were informed in a circular issued on Friday that they will be required to re-register when the university reopens.

The rector, Aaron Ndlovu, is a known ANC heavyweight.

Attempts by Sowetan to get comment from management were unsuccessful since the riots began a week ago.

The university spokesman, Zanele Zondi, has not been available for comment since the strike began.