By NOKUZOLA THWALA | 2019-08-22
Cops clashed with Limkokwing University of Creative Technology students yesterday.
The bone of contention was the students who boycotted classes, rioted and ended up vandalising property, damaging even passers-by cars by throwing objects at them.
The Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) officers were invited to restore and keep peace and stability as the events unfolded.
The Student Representative Council President Sibusiso Mathebula said as students they resorted to boycotting classes since they were tired of how things were rolling out at the institution. He said government responded to their petition which they delivered last week Thursday at the ministry of labour and social security, the only change made in their grievances was the option of using banks for their monthly allowance instead of the mobile money options only.
He said government didn’t deal with the core issue of their petition which was that they needed the full amount paid once not in monthly instalments under the new system.
“We do realise that other university might accept this but our situations and needs are not the same. For example, under the entrepreneurship programme, we contribute E 1 500 and then there's other expenses. Where do you expect a student to get E 1 500 when the amount they receive doesn’t even reach that amount. It’s been three weeks since we opened but none has been received and most of the students depend on the allowance,” he said.
Mathebula said they were confused by what the university did as a private institution, putting pressure on them as it released a memo giving the students a deadline to submit their cellphone numbers on Monday the 19th. On the very same Monday, another memo was released that the semester calendar continued as is, it doesn't change and yesterday the students were expected back in class by 2:30pm and it didn’t matter what happened earlier.
“The students feel that management of university is suppressing them somehow. They actually wonder how the university becomes a part in a contract between the students and government,” he said.
Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati confirmed the presence of the police at the university and said they were there to maintain peace and stability.
“Police on the scene had to restore peace and make sure that there was no damage of property,” she said.
Some police officers were seen chasing students who were throwing objects at moving cars who ran into the surrounding areas.
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