Univer­sity of Zu­l­u­land SRC dis­banded after some caught loot­ing

The Mercury - - METRO - KAILENE PILLAY | [email protected]

THE Stu­dents’ Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Coun­cil (SRC) at the Univer­sity of Zu­l­u­land was dis­banded after mem­bers looted ho­tel rooms at the up­mar­ket Good­er­son Drak­ens­berg Gar­dens and Re­sort last month.

The stu­dents booked 20 sin­gle rooms for a strate­gic plan­ning work­shop in Novem­ber, but some were found in posses­sion of du­vets, pil­lows, ket­tles, crock­ery and other items on check-out.

Univer­sity spokesper­son Gcina Nh­leko-Md­luli con­firmed the univer­sity coun­cil took a res­o­lu­tion to dis­solve the SRC, due to se­ri­ous mis­con­duct by 12 of the 15 stu­dents.

Nh­leko-Md­luli said the stu­dents were deemed “not fit to stand of­fice and to be stu­dent lead­ers”.

“An ad­min­is­tra­tor will be ap­pointed from the three SRC mem­bers who were not im­pli­cated in com­mit­ting the mis­con­duct,” she said.

The univer­sity will hold con­sul­ta­tions with the ap­pointed ad­min­is­tra­tor and the an­nounce­ment will be com­mu­ni­cated to all stu­dents once the process is fi­nalised, Nh­leko-Md­luli said.

She said the univer­sity was pri­ori­tis­ing the mat­ter and ap­pealed to all stu­dents to al­low the process to fol­low its due course.

Good­er­son Leisure chief ex­ec­u­tive Gavin Castle­man said it would not press crim­i­nal charges against the stu­dents, as they had re­cov­ered all of the miss­ing items.

“We are leav­ing it in the univer­sity’s hands now,” he said yes­ter­day.

Castle­man said the stu­dents checked into the re­sort on Novem­ber 10 and stayed for three nights.

“When they were check­ing out on that Wed­nes­day (Novem­ber 14), the clean­ing staff no­ti­fied man­age­ment that a large num­ber of items were miss­ing from most of their rooms.

“This is a com­mon pro­ce­dure that clean­ing staff check the rooms be­fore guests check out,” Castle­man said.

He said on in­spec­tion, they found that du­vets, pil­lows, cush­ions, ket­tles, cut­lery and crock­ery were some of the items miss­ing from the rooms.

Castle­man said they were found in the stu­dents’ bus.

“We did de­cide not to press charges and we trust the univer­sity will take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion,” he said.

Chair­per­son of the Par­lia­ment’s port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing urged the univer­sity and the ho­tel to use the law to cor­rec­tively deal with the theft that took place.

Speak­ing dur­ing a com­mit­tee meet­ing in Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day, chair­per­son Con­nie Septem­ber said it was dis­ap­point­ing when stu­dent lead­er­ship was in­volved in “stupid acts” that in­volved steal­ing and de­struc­tion.

“Strong lead­er­ship is re­quired from the stu­dents. Stu­dents should not be as­so­ci­ated with such acts, as they are fu­ture as­pir­ing lead­ers.

“This is un­nec­es­sary at­ten­tion that has been brought to the univer­sity, whose lead­er­ship and gover­nance chal­lenges still need res­o­lu­tion,” said Septem­ber.

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