Steven Tau
1 minute read
17 Sep 2015
8:36 am

Nzimande ‘worried’ about violent varsity protests

Steven Tau

The department of higher education and training has dismissed suggestions that Minister Blade Nzimande does not take seriously violent protests at various institutions of higher learning.

This week alone, classes at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) Westville campus, as well as at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT), south of Johannesburg, were suspended amid protest action over an array of issues, which ranged from registration fees to security.

While there was no violence during the VUT demonstrations, protesting students at UKZN, damaged property and burnt cars.

Speaking to The Citizen yesterday Nzimande’s spokesperson, Khaye Nkwanyana, said the minister was not just sitting back, folding his arms and doing nothing about the protests, or grievances raised by students.

“Hence, the department, through the instruction of the minister, issued a statement this week, expressing concerns about the violence in KZN.

“The minister is indeed worried and it is for this reason that he has instructed management at UKZN to work closely with the police in ensuring that those who are involved in violent protests, are brought to book,” said Nkwanyana.

He said although Nzimande may not immediately speak on radio or appear on TV when violent protests erupt, it did not mean he wasn’t “hands-on”.