'pandor must listen'
The Young Communist League has accused Education Minister Naledi Pandor of being responsible for the ongoing student protest at the Durban University of Technology (DUT).
Lectures have now been cancelled at all six of the university campuses throughout KwaZulu-Natal.
Spokesman Castro Ngobese said yesterday that Pandor had "ignored a series of protests at various institutions of higher learning throughout the country, including Tshwane University of Technology, Mangosuthu University of Technology, University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of South Africa".
"We will continue to toyi--toyi in order to make management hear the students' grievances."
The only way to stop the strike action was for Pandor to regulate fees at the institutions of higher learnings, he said.
"The strike action by students, and recently by members of staff, at different institutions indicate the declining economy is hitting the working class hard.
"Students whose parents are unemployed now cannot even afford to buy a loaf of bread.
"How are they supposed to come up with thousands [of rands] to pay for education?"
Ngobese said it was the responsibility of the institution to provide accommodation to students who came from distant areas because it was part of the "service delivery" required by students.
Student protests at DUT have been going on since Thursday last week when student leaders held two staff members hostage on campus.
Five student leaders were arrested, but were released a few days later after the university dropped charges. In January the university closed for three days after violent confrontations between students and police.
Several students were shot with rubber bullets after reportedly stoning police vehicles.
Lunga Nqengelele, spokes-person for the national Department of Education, said institutions of higher learning "were autonomous and made their own policies and resolutions".
The office of the minister was "always ready" to intervene when asked to by management and students, Nqengelele said.