Blade con­demns vi­o­lent protests at CPUT

The New Age (Northern Cape) - - WESTERN CAPE NEWS - TNA RE­PORTER

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.

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