Violent King Hintsa College student’s protest lands 11 in custody - two in hospital

BY YOLANDA PALEZWENI - APRIL 27, 2017
Violent King Hintsa College student’s protest lands 11 in custody - two in hospital

11 students from the King Hintsa TVET College, Theko and Macibe campuses, are expected in court soon after they were arrested on Tuesday by Centane  police for public violence.

It is alleged that more than 100 students blocked the R409 road between Butterworth and Centane with burning tyres and threw stones at passing vehicles.

“Public Order Police and the Centane SAPS members were deployed on the scene to quell the violence and control the situation,” said police spokesperson, Captain Khaya Thonjeni.

The students have been protesting for a week now  and are demanding among other things, that the college finds accommodation for students; refund them some monies paid to the institution as the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFASpaid for their fees; and that the Student Representative Council (SRC) budget be audited as it has allegedly been misused.

They are also demanding that their NSFAS allowances increase after they were decreased.

Speaking to RNEWS, Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA) Branch Chairperson, Ongeza Mpithi, said that they have been having meetings with management regarding the issues, but have not yet reached an agreement.

“We been telling management about our demands but they never take us seriously. We have shortage of residence for students and also the allowance amount they give us is not hence we resorted to strike,” said Mpithi.

He added that at the beginning of the year, it was agreed that the school will pay back students money they used for registration and accommodation when NSFAS approved their finding, but until now they haven’t been paid back.

RNEWS contacted King Hintsa TVET College principal, Noluthando Balfour; who said meetings were held between management and SRC.

The last meeting was held on the 19th of April, but the parties failed to reach an agreement.

“The main issue was the food allowance that dropped from R1 150 to R450. The students have a problem with that and are also complaining about the SRC Budget that has allegedly been misused,” she said.

The students vowed not to go back to classes until all their demands are met

“Until management implement our demands we are not going back to classes even if it means stay away for the whole year,” said Mpithi.

Also, according to the students, two students were injured during the protests - one had to be transferred to Frere Hospital in East London.

The students arrested have been detained at Centane SAPS and will appear at Centane Magistrate's court as soon.

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