MUT students vow to continue protests over registration fees and historical debt


Following running clashes on Thursday between police and disgruntled students at Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT), the institution’s student representative council (SRC) has vowed to continue with protests demanding that MUT clears all eligible students for registration in this academic year.

One student was arrested and charged with public violence during protests at the university’s main campus in Umlazi, southwest of Durban.

The university’s SRC led by the EFF Student Command is demanding that registration fees and historical debt be cleared.

This is despite the university’s acting deputy vice-chancellor, Manyani Makuwa, saying they did not have the funds to clear students’ historical debt.

MUT management announced on Tuesday it would close due to an ongoing strike by staff members who are demanding an 8% salary increase against the institution’s offer of 3.3%. Lectures are expected to commence on Monday, 12 April 2021.

“The closure of the university was necessary to protect staff, students and property. The incidents that led to this are regrettable and largely uncalled for,” Makuwa said in a statement.

“Management reserves the right to act against any acts of vandalism and thuggery as these negate the spirit of peaceful protest as protected by the law and the protocols agreed to by labour unions.”

However, SRC president Mthokozisi Gumede told EWN this was unrealistic as just less than 20% of eligible students had registered for this year.

“Students are still not registered; they are still not accommodated and they are still without allowances but classes are commencing on Monday. Workers are still on protest, so who is going to register those students in the two days we have?” Gumede said.

-The Citizen

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