Campus violence won’t be tolerated, warns minister

2010-05-03 00:00

AMID an increasing number of student protests and campus clashes between police and students, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has warned students that violent behaviour won’t be tolerated.

Addressing students at the National Association of Student Development Practitioners (Nasdev) conference at Durban’s Riverside Hotel yesterday, Mthethwa said: “Let us be clear on this one: the police will not tolerate criminal acts at any of our institutions of learning, whether they are at primary, high or tertiary level.

“No damage to property, theft or violence will be tolerated. The illegal possession of firearms by students, the burning of libraries, clashes — and at times attacks carried out under the guise of tuition fee [disputes] — will not be tolerated by the government.”

Nasdev’s launch of a “back-to-school” project, which was discussed at the conference, is aimed at building capacity and giving student affairs practitioners, student leaders and service providers a platform on which to engage, learn and share information that will assist in development.

Mthethwa said the project’s theme, “an opportunity to engage, learn and share best practices”, is in line with the government’s approach towards fighting crime.

“We challenge you as an organisation not to limit this sharing of best practices among yourselves, but to venture into communities that face crime on an hourly, daily, monthly and yearly basis.

“We urge you to become involved with young people, especially those who have become marginalised by drugs, poverty and alcoholism,” said Mthethwa.

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