UKZN obtains interdict against protesters

2010-09-20 00:00

A COURT interdict obtained on Thursday is the latest move to curb protests by students affiliated to the SA Student Congress (Sasco) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

UKZN management obtained the interdict after an application to the high court in Pietermaritzburg.

Sasco believes the university management wants to privatise students’ residences.

It is alleged that Sasco members went on the rampage on Thursday morning and disrupted the writing of tests at the Pietermaritzburg campus before the interdict was served.

The interdict ordered that Sasco and students stop any protests at all five campuses of the university with immediate effect. They were given until September 30 to respond to it. The court also ordered police to intervene and keep order.

University management had previously written two letters to student organisations insisting that privatisation is not planned.

The Young Communist League (YCL) and ANC Youth League (ANCYL), have denounced Sasco for “misleading” students to protest against privatisation. They say Sasco is using the issue to campaign for next month’s SRC elections.

Said Sakhile Radebe, Sasco chairperson on the Pietermaritzburg campus, “While they [management] are saying they will not privatise students’ residences, they have formed a UKZN student housing company to be in charge of residences.

“They are saying this company belongs to the university, but at the same time its mandate is to make a profit out of residences. At whose expense are they going to make the profit?”

Radebe denied that Sasco was behind the protest on Thursday.

He said Sasco has still to decide how to react to the interdict.

He accused the ANCYL and YCL of ignoring the privatisation issue because of their leadership role in the central SRC, “which is likely to make them beneficiaries in the UKZN student housing company”.

“If they are in the leadership positions it is difficult for them to tackle the issue of privatisation.”

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