By Zwelihle Sukati | 2019-11-02
Absolute chaos and vandalism!
This best describes the fierce protest by the Southern African Nazarene University (SANU) over pending allowances, which government has not disbursed to them since August.
That means the students have not received their monthly allowances for September and October.
Information gathered by this publication is that the students, seeing that they were not going to get a cent even for the month of October had their representative body issue a statement on Thursday to the effect that they would boycott classes and fiercely protest against the prevailing situation yesterday.
Those who were not for the protest action were advised to remain at home those who would want to be in class were warned that they will be in for a shock.
Indeed, a majority of the angry students turned up for the protest action. When the protestors marched to the institution’s administration they were even irked the more when they were told to write a letter to the Administration for their grievances to be attended to.
The students say what got them even hotter under the collar was that they had written a number of letters to institution narrating their frustrations.
They even claimed to have approached the Ministry of Labour and Social Security before and were told in no uncertain terms that government had no money. Chaos unfolded when some students who are self sponsored wanted nothing to do with the protest action, but to continue with lessons. They viewed this as a spit in the face by their colleagues, despite having been warned to stay home if they had no interest in their demands.
A fierce confrontation erupted as the angry legion of student protestors went on rampage mode, vandalizing school property. Windows were smashed and doors vandalized as went from one faculty to another forcing the minority of non-protesting students out of classrooms.
It was at this stage when SANU Student Representative Council (SRC) Secretary General Colani Khulekani Maseko sustained serious injuries during a confrontation with other non-protesting students, something which led to him being admitted to the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital.
In a nutshell, the SANU students are not only demanding their owed allowanced for the past two months but also want to be granted book allowance and allowanced for practical lessons.
SANU SRC President Tholumuzi Gubevu Simelane said their first day of class boycott was a huge success. “The boycott continues until our demands are met,” he said briefly when reached for comment last night. Police Communications and Information Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati confirmed the students boycott but said not much havoc was caused.
“There was a protest at the institution yesterday and one student was sustained a minor injury on the hand after having smashed a window,” Superintendent Vilakati said. She said the injured student said he smashed the window because he was so very angry.
The SRC Secretary General was interviewed last night from him hospital bed after having sustained injuries on his arm. Maseko said he got injured following a confrontation he had with one student who was demanding to continue with lessons.
“He said he was not going to boycott lessons because he was self-sponsored and at the time he was inside the class. My hand was injured through an open window when we exchanged words and suddenly he tried to smash close the window,” Maseko narrated.
He said it was then that his arm got injured as his hand got trapped and cut by the window glasses.
Furthermore, students who recently graduated at SANU are set to join the protesting students at the institution, starting next week.
He said the graduates will take part in their action because some have had their certificates withheld because the institution told them they were owing some fees.
According to Maseko, yesterday’s protest was a huge success, judging from the number of students who turned up for the protest action.
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