VUT denies violent evictions

2014-09-11 07:45
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Johannesburg - The Vaal University of Technology on Wednesday denied that it had violently evicted students from residences at its Vanderbijlpark campus.

University spokesperson Mike Khuboni said students were given notice on Tuesday that they had to be out of the residences by 07:00 on Wednesday.

"Management did not immediately evacuate them at 07:00," said Khuboni.

He said this happened after lunch time.

"There were students who refused to vacate and the security had to go from room to room to tell them to leave as the residences were going to be locked up," said Khuboni.

The Economic Freedom Fighters have however alleged that the students were thrown out of the residences at 06:00.

EFF Gauteng spokesperson Mandisa Mashego said the evictions were carried out by the institution's security company, Mafoko Security, as well as members of the police dog unit.

"The students were not given a chance to take any of their belongings and are now homeless and without a secure place to stay," said Mashego.

She said around 3 000 students were affected by evictions.

"During the forceful eviction, an EFF student leader was wrongfully arrested this morning after trying to protect fellow students from a gun-toting security guard who was threatening to shoot at students," said Mashego.

"Another student is in hospital with serious injuries and scores others have suffered general injuries."

Khuboni denied the involvement of the police.

The students went on strike last Wednesday. Khuboni said they damaged some of the school property and prevented officials from entering the campus.

They had been complaining about the lack of funds in the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, and demanded a meeting with the Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande.

The protests continued despite a commitment last week to address the students' concerns.

Khuboni said the institution's management would meet before the end of the week to decide on when to re-open the residences and resume with lectures.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  education

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