Student riots end, deadlock goes on

2015-09-30 11:00
Police watch the gates to a residence at the Pietermaritzburg UKZN campus. (Chelsea Pieterse, The Witness)

Police watch the gates to a residence at the Pietermaritzburg UKZN campus. (Chelsea Pieterse, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - A member of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) Pietermaritzburg campus has conceded that their protest action has run its course.

The member, who would not be named, admitted that the SRC had lost the support of the majority of students.

“The truth of the matter is that many students want to attend lectures. We cannot force them to boycott classes as that will be an infringement of their rights,” said the member.

However, he accused the university’s management of turning the students against them.

On Monday, UKZN announced that applications for the closed Registration Appeals Committee (RAC) process had been reopened.

The process allows students owing the institution fees to enter into an agreement to pay their debts in instalments while continuing with their studies, and was among the issues that the students had protested over.

The SRC member denied that RAC applications, which can only be done online, were open. “The management just wanted us to look like fools who fight for something that has been given already.

“If you go online now, you will see what I’m talking about,” he said, adding that UKZN management had held various negotiations with the SRC, all of which ended in deadlock.

The SRC member said he did not see them reaching agreement with the management anytime soon.

“On Monday, we sat in the meeting for about eight hours. We could not agree on anything. We were stuck on the issue of the RAC,” he said.

UKZN spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said the university management was committed to engaging the students to find a solution. “As I am speaking to you, the management is in a meeting with student representatives,” he said

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  protest  |  ukzn

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