Troubled varsity reopens its doors

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Lectures were back to normal yesterday at the Mangosuthu University of Technology in Umlazi, south of Durban.

The institution reopened against a backdrop of 16 students being accused of perpetrating violence under suspension.

But the reopening was in stark contrast to the beginning of another student protest over a lack of accommodation at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg.

Mangosuthu University of Technology reopened yesterday after closing down for a week after student protests turned violent, leaving several students injured after clashes with the police. The university management blamed students who are members of the South African Democratic Students Movement (Sadesmo), an IFP-aligned student body, for the violence.

At the time university spokesman Sanele Zondi said they had identified the students who were behind the violence.

He said disciplinary proceedings would be instituted against the suspended students for transgressing the rules of the university.

Sowetan could not establish whether the suspended students were all members of Sadesmo.

Zondi could also not confirm whether the students were all members of the IFP-aligned student movement.

"We suspended students who perpetrated violence and did not look at whether they belonged to a certain student movement," Zondi said.

He said the 16 students would not be allowed back on campus until they had appeared at a disciplinary hearings.

"These students will not be allowed back on campus until the tribunal makes a ruling on their situation," Zondi said.

He said the university would help students to catch up with their studies.

"Each faculty is expected to design their own programme to catch up," he said.

Meanwhile, chaos erupted at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Pietermaritzburg campus yesterday.

About 100 angry students protested against management's failure to provide accommodation to about 400 students who stay away from the campus.