SRC stripped of powers

THE management of the University of Zululand has stripped the students representative council of all its powers.

All student issues have temporarily been handed over to the dean of students, Mandla Hlongwane.

This comes after a month of tensions on campus between rival student bodies following the SRC elections in October.

The ANC-aligned SA Students Congress (Sasco) won the elections after the IFP-aligned SA Democratic Students Movement (Sadesmo) was disqualified, allegedly for failing to submit its candidates list on time.

But Sadesmo has sought legal advice over the declaration of Sasco as winners. The Independent Electoral Commission's chief electoral commissioner Pansy Tlakula subsequently sent a letter to university rector Rachel Gumbi advising the institution to declare the elections null and void.

University authorities would yesterday not comment on the situation but confirmed that the newly-elected SRC had been stripped of its powers.

"I can confirm that all issues affecting students are to be based at the dean of students' office," said spokesperson Shalo Mbatha.

Last week two lecture theatres, a library, computer laboratory and SRC offices were destroyed after being stoned and set alight.

Angry students went on the rampage following their meeting with Hlongwane, who indicated that there would be no time to hold an SRC election this year. Exams are continuing without disruption.