Racist' lecturers at TUT must be dismissed: SRC

By Drum Digital
10 September 2014

Students at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) claimed that some lecturers were racist, and demanded their dismissal.

Students at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) on Wednesday claimed that some lecturers were racist, and demanded their dismissal. "We can't sit back and watch the future of black students going down the drain because of arrogant vice-chancellors and some incompetent managers," the university's student representative council (SRC) president Mboniseni Dladla said in a statement. "The university failed to address a number of issues raised during [our] February protest which related to... dismissal of all racist lecturers."

Among other things, the students wanted the salaries of executive management reviewed, and an end to the outsourcing of transport and cleaning services.

Classes were suspended on Tuesday and Wednesday because of protests.

The boycotting of lectures was also related to a lack of funds in the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

On Tuesday, TUT said the students behind the protest were in breach of an interdict the university obtained earlier this year.

TUT spokeswoman Willa de Ruyter said in January the university had suspended classes and evicted students from residences. It obtained a court order to stop protests. She said the order was still in force.

Dladla accused De Ruyter of being a liar, saying the protest was carried out at the Pretoria, Ga-Rankuwa, Soshanguve and eMalahleni campuses.

"The university spokesperson lied by telling media that it's only a group of a few unruly students.

"The students are not in contempt of a court interdict as the strike was not started by any of those interdicted, but ordinary students...."

The SRC questioned why De Ruyter "decided not to tell the world" about the alleged resignation of the university's chief financial officer and the suspension of its head of department of nursing.

"We wish to condemn the management's lies and consistent attempt to undermine students. We've noted with great disappointment the distortions made by the university spokesperson," said Dladla.

The SRC claimed De Ruyter's role was to hide the truth and portray students as a bunch of "losers" and "hooligans" who have no interest in studying.

Democratic Alliance Youth chairman Yusuf Cassim said it was clear NSFAS was failing students.

"Our students are suffering and they are desperate... This is completely unacceptable and we are demanding that the minister [of higher education] addresses this immediately," he said in a statement.

"We will fight for every qualifying matriculant to get access to higher education. We will continue fighting this battle until all qualifying students get the opportunities they deserve."

De Ruyter had not responded to a request for comment by 3pm.

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