'I'm so sad, so mad, I'm so pissed' - TUT student

2016-03-08 13:53
Students leaving the Soshanguve South Campus.  (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Students leaving the Soshanguve South Campus. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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WATCH: Students' exodus from TUT residences

2016-03-08 13:11

TUT students are vacating campus residences after management issued a deadline for their departure. The Vice Chancellor issued a notice that the Shoshanguve campus will be closed until April 2016.WATCH

Pretoria - Students at the Tshwane University of Technology's Soshanguve campuses have been left in limbo after they were told to vacate their residences.

"I'm so sad. I'm so mad. I'm so pissed. Our academic calendar is ruined," Promise Mtsweni, a fourth-year education student from Bronkhorstspruit, said on Tuesday.

She blamed the Student Representative Council for the university's decision to close the campuses.

"This is really heart breaking," said another student.

"We were on strike for four weeks, but nothing came out of the strike. Now, out of the blue, we are being told to go home."

The university shut down the two Soshanguve campuses on Monday following weeks of violent protests. Students were given until Tuesday afternoon to leave.

On Tuesday morning, hundreds of people were walking out with their bags. Some carried refrigerators.

Taxis were parked in front of the gates collecting stranded students. Not everyone was fortunate enough to be able to go home.

"We don't have money to go home. Our parents just sent money for rent and food. Some of our parents are pensioners and don't earn that much. It's really saddening for those students who are not going to return," said one student.

They had been demanding that those excluded from the university because they could not pay, be allowed to attend lectures. They also wanted an increase in the food allowance.

University spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said the campuses were closed to stabilise them. Activities at all other TUT campuses were continuing as normal.

A number of those involved in the disruptions were not registered students, she said.

"Because of the increasing violence, intimidation and assaults, the university has an obligation to ensure the safety of our students," De Ruyter said.

While some students supported the protests, others expressed dissatisfaction.

Mtsweni said she was supposed to start her practicals in June, but feared this would not be possible as the academic calendar could be rescheduled.

"So what's going to happen when they say in June, we don't go to recess? It means I can't go do my practicals because I have to catch up. Even the guy who is leading us is graduating, but we will be left here suffering."

"We have goals to achieve like finishing our courses in record time, but now we need to finish in five years like the rest of them," she said.

Read more on:    tut  |  pretoria  |  university protests

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