Chaos at VUT with violent student protests

African News Agency

Chaos at VUT with violent student protests
Vaal University of Technology VUT violent protest. Photo (CICA - South Africa)

PROTEST – The Vaal University of Technology (VUT) suspended classes on Thursday after rioting students torched buildings and damaged other properties in week-long standoff with management.

Vice Chancellor and Principal Irene Moutlana said the disruptions started on May 3 and again on Wednesday, led by the Student Representative Council (SRC).

“Both these incidents unfortunately resulted in damage to university property and disruption of operations. VUT management is gravely concerned with the violent turn of events and is taking the necessary precautions to protect non-protesting students and staff,” she said.

Protesting students demanded the withdrawal of criminal charges against students charged with damage to property and grievous bodily harm to fellow students, the removal of the outsourced campus security company, among their list of grievances.

Moutlana said there was a “total disregard” for management authority by the students.

“Management is concerned with the emerging trend that shows a total disregard for university management authority and interference with procurement policy,” said Moutlana.

“The insistence for the appointment of certain service providers, violation of human rights of students and staff, and above all, the tearing up of management’s response by SRC secretary without giving students the benefit of considering the contents thereof, is a clear indication of total disregard for management and a clear indication of incitement.”

A students’ residence was reduced to ashes overnight. An entertainment venue on the campus was also vandalised.

Moutlana said university operations would remain suspended until further notice.

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SOURCEAfrican News Agency