Blade condemns violent protests at CPUT
HIGHER Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, has condemned the protests that continue to disrupt academic studies at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).
“The sporadic anarchy that we are witnessing at CPUT has got absolutely nothing to do with legitimate issues such as access and the necessary transformation of education in our country. This is about a tiny band of people who harbour criminal intentions and who are hellbent on destroying the lives and future of thousands of students and their families,” Nzimande said.
“Indeed, there can never be any justification for violence on campuses, even where there are legitimate concerns.
“In that light, it is unacceptable that a few should continue to hold our nation to ransom through ... the destruction of education infrastructure that we badly need to empower students and the next generation so that they can play their full role in building South Africa.”
The warning comes after CPUT was once again hit by violent protests on Monday which led to classes being suspended. The university has experienced violent protests by a handful of students which also led to parts of certain buildings being set alight.
Nzimande urged authorities and law enforcement agencies to deal decisively and without mercy with all these criminal acts nationally.
“I also urge student leaders who are committed to transformation and the well being of our country to engage in constructive discussions with authorities and other stakeholders to deal with the many legitimate challenges which we face in higher education.
“While the government and universities will always be open to dialogue with all stakeholders, lawlessness and other acts of criminality will never be tolerated,” he said.
A number of protesting students got involved in violent skirmishes before police intervened this week.
The students were said to be unhappy with disciplinary action taken against four fellow students by the university.