TUT suspends SRC following violent protest

File photo of students protesting
File photo of students protesting

Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) has suspended its Student Representative Council, it said on Monday.

The SRC leadership was served with letters on Sunday, said TUT spokeswoman Willa de Ruyter. It was suspended for the remainder of the term, she said in a statement.

De Ruyter said TUT took the step in light of violent protest action at its Pretoria and Ga-Rankuwa campuses last week, which disrupted the academic programme.

Negotiations with student leaders reached an impasse when students demanded that the resumption of classes be based on the progress of talks, she said.

"The university is very concerned about the academic time already lost at such a critical time of the year."

De Ruyter said the disruptions had also led to problems with accreditation and professional bodies, which severely affected students.

TUT had decided that the academic programme would have to resume on Wednesday.

Student protests the National Student Financial Aid Scheme's lack of funds led to TUT's closure. Last week, the SRC said the boycott would continue until it decided to end it.

Earlier, De Ruyter said the university had decided to reopen to ensure that the academic programme resumed as quickly as possible to enable students to successfully complete the academic year.

The central SRC's secretary Signified Tivana said in a statement the university was being dishonest.

He said that during talks, TUT had not raised any issues of misconduct or of matters which warranted the suspension of legitimate structures and dismissal of students.

"The vice chancellor and principal abused her powers to dismiss student leaders who genuinely and openly raised students concerns with the executive management."

He said when students spoke out against racism and poor administration, they had pressed the wrong buttons, which had led to their expulsion.

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