Socialist Youth Movement takes TUT to court in fight against mass eviction of students
The Socialist Youth Movement (SYM), the autonomous youth wing of the Workers and Socialist Party (WASP), along with other student leaders at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) is taking legal action against the TUT management after it has threatened to evict thousands of students from university residences. Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), via advocate Rudolf Jansen, will launch an urgent application to interdict the University’s action at the Pretoria High Court today at 13h00.
– Closing the residences would place thousands of students on the streets, says Zikho Leshabane, SYM Student Representative Council member at the TUT Main Campus, as most of us are from far and without the means to travel home.
– The closure and the threat to evict us by force is just an act of repression by the University – they simply want to crush the strike against financial exclusions.
– This is an unlawful eviction which we are seeking to have stopped in the High Court today, thanks to the assistance from Lawyers for Human Rights.
The SYM is part of leading a strike at TUT, in cooperation with the ANC-aligned SASCO and ANCYL as well as PASMA, after SASCO made the call last week for countrywide protests against the mass exclusions of students which result from the underfunding of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
– While as SYM we wholeheartedly support the strike call, we want to also ensure that students’ sights are raised to the real roots of the problem we face, says Elmond Magedi, SYM national coordinator, that is; to the ANC-government and its failure to fund the NSFAS in line with the needs of students.
– The ANC is not failing us out of some accident or misunderstanding but because its foremost priority is to serve the interests of big business, which in South Africa today do not require the mass of working class youth to be highly educated – a select elite is enough for them.
– We are working to escalate this struggle, linking students with high school learners, communities and workers, to get to these issues, says Mametlwe Sebei, Workers and Socialist Party, and are cautioning SASCO-aligned students not to allow their mother body to mix up the cards here.