Sasco wins court action against varsity

THE South African Students Congress has won a court action against the University of Venda, which tried to bar its campus president Jimmy Machaka from writing examinations.

This comes after the university had served Machaka with a suspension letter last week ordering him not to engage in the university's activities, including writing the first paper last Wednesday.

The move was described as an attack on the student movement, aimed at silencing Sasco's call for a performance review on a law lecturer after 120 students had failed two law course modules.

Machaka was suspended by the university after a meeting with management, where students had raised their dissatisfaction with the outcome.

Sasco lawyer Paul Makhavhu said they had obtained a court interdict because their clients were treated unfairly and also denied an opportunity to write exams. They had obtained the interdict against the university and its vice-chancellor, Peter Mbati.

Makhavhu said they would push to make the interdict a final order.

The suspension comes in the wake of Sasco's call for the campus to fight corruption and the bad publicity the university gained following allegations it had lost millions of rands in legal fees against its unwanted staff members.

Sasco provincial spokesperson Lazarus Ledwaba said the university was desperate to silence every organisation on campus because of the high level of corruption that was swept under the carpet. He called on the institution to probe corruption and stop victimising students.

But the institution's legal adviser, Nanga Lidovho, said the suspension was due to Machaka's alleged vandalism of the institution's property.

He could not give details on why the university did not lay a charge with the police.