Youth leagues lash out at Sasco

2010-09-17 00:00

A GROUP of “ill-disciplined” students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg went on the rampage and forced others to abandon their sociology and English language tests yesterday morning.

The “illegal” protest by about 40 students left Young Communist League and ANC Youth League members fuming. They said those who took part in the protest were “ill-informed” about the alleged plan — denied by the university management — to privatise students’ residences.

Is is alleged that the illegal protest was led by the South African Students Congress (Sasco), which leads the local SRC.

Young Communist League secretary at the city campus, Isaac Luthuli, said the students were misled to believe that the institution is considering privatising the residences in Pietermaritzburg.

“The management has made it clear that privatising residences in Pietermaritzburg was not in its agenda. A group of people, who had their own agenda, misinformed others to protest for something that is no longer an issue,” Luthuli said.

It is alleged that the protesters forced their way into Petrie hall where an English language development test was taking place. They continued to William O’Brien hall where other students were writing sociology. University spokesperson Nomonde Mbadi said both tests had to be terminated as the protesters were acting violently.

“These students have no intention of finishing their studies. [Many] of them have been here since 2001, but they have failed to obtain their degrees,” said Luthuli.

SRC secretary-general Mafika Mndebele, who is a member of the ANCYL and YCL, said Sasco was using the residence matter to campaign for its election.

“They did not come to us to find out what is happening with the matter, hence they engaged in an illegal strike,” said Mndebele.

A number of attempts by The Witness to get hold of Sasco to respond were unsuccessful.

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