| Mangosuthu University of Technology protests: 22 students suspended, some facing charges

Mangosuthu University of Technology

Mangosuthu University of Technology

  • Lectures and exams will resume at the Mangosuthu University of Technology following violent protests last week. 
  • The university has suspended 22 students who were allegedly involved in the destruction of property. 
  • Some students are facing criminal charges.  

Twenty-two Mangosuthu University of Technology students have been suspended, and some arrested, following violent protests. 

Several students from other institutions, including the University of Zululand and the University of South Africa, who were part of the protest, also face criminal charges. 

The students were apparently identified and positively linked with the planning and execution of last Thursday’s destruction of university property.

The Witness reported that classes had been suspended following the burning of university cars, several buildings, as well as other damage to infrastructure.

In a notice to staff, students and stakeholders, acting vice-chancellor, Professor Marcus Ramogale, said four of the 22 students were SRC members.

A former SRC president was also among them, he said. 

READ Infrastructure torched at the Mangosuthu University of Technology

“A former MUT student who is on suspension for taking part in a violent protest in 2021 has been identified as one of the culprits, and a criminal charge will be preferred against him. Two MUT students who drafted and posted a statement about the students’ intentions on Facebook are among the 22 identified as culprits and have been suspended by the university.”

Meanwhile, two “hired” students from the University of Zululand, one from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and another from Unisa, were arrested on Thursday (23 June) in connection with the destruction of MUT property and were facing criminal charges, Ramogale said.  

“Of the 22 MUT students identified as culprits, several were arrested last night [Saturday]. Others are on the run. We expect more arrests as the investigations continue.

“We now know that the mayhem of Thursday, 23 June, was orchestrated by MUT students with the assistance of hired hands from our sister universities in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. We have also been able to establish that what happened is part of a bigger plan to capture and control SRCs in TVET colleges and universities in the province for a particular student organisation.”

He added: 

As the hired hands confessed under interrogation, they were on a ‘mission’ to execute their student organisation’s programme for the control of SRCs in the province’s TVET colleges and universities. It appears that the plan involves making endless demands on the management of TVET colleges and universities and, if acceded to, these concessions are then presented as victories that put the student organisation in a good light and thus enhance its electability come SRC election time. If a demand is not met, violence is then used to cow management.

In an effort to ensure that operations and examinations continued at the university, management had “beefed up” security on all its campuses.  

Ramogale said specially trained security guards would also be deployed to examination venues so as to ensure that examinations could commence without disruption.

“Access to MUT campuses will be limited to staff and students upon the production of identification cards. For individuals not attached to the university, only guests with verifiable appointments will be allowed access.”

He added that university management had decided to resume lectures and exams.

Never miss a story. Choose from our range of newsletters to get the news you want delivered straight to your inbox.

Read More