There were scenes of utter chaos outside Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) in Umlazi, Durban on Thursday, April 8, 2021, as students clashed with law enforcement officials.
Students have several grievances they want to tackle, including financial exclusion and the elimination of historic debt. Previously, students, including members of the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC), have blocked the main entrance to MUT and vowed to bring the facility to a standstill until their demands are met.
The police, armed with bulletproof vests, used water cannons in an attempt to disperse the students, who were singing inside the MUT premises, but it did little for them. deter. The police eventually managed to get in and at least one student was reportedly arrested.
MUT students also blocked some of Umlazi’s main roads, affecting traffic in that area. By midday, a certain calm had been restored in the district and only some of the students could even be seen leaving the grounds of the establishment.
MUT management to respond to student requests
MUT Acting Vice Chancellor Dr Manyani Makua said the leadership would meet to discuss how they would respond to student demands.
“This afternoon the management will meet again to try to answer almost all the questions that have been raised and which we are able to answer and who will be able to do so.”
MUT Acting Vice-Chancellor Dr Manyani Makua
Makua added that most of the student grievances were related to funding.
“Most of the time, the issues students bring up are related to finances and you know that this is not a situation that only happens at these institutions. Students continue to try to find concessions as to what is owed to them, ”he said.
The students are also supporting MUT workers who have been on strike since Monday and are demanding an 8% pay rise.
“There are clashes between the students and the police today, but what is the problem, it is these opportunist parties that have hijacked the workers’ struggle for their own strike. It’s supposed to be peaceful. NEHAWU submitted the memorandum but the university needs to look into it, however, the workers just said enough is enough. They will not continue to work until their demands are met, ”said MUT student leader Phiwayinkosi Ngobese.
MUT Durban students clash with police during protest
SourceMUT Durban students clash with police during protest