Moseneke deeply disappointed by disruptions at higher education convention

The two-day forum, which was set to continue today, degenerated into chaos with students throwing chairs and water bottles at each other.

FILE: Dikgang Moseneke. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke says he is disappointed by what happened at the higher education national convention.

Moseneke says he’s deeply hurt that he had to call off the convention due to multiple violent disruptions of the event on Saturday.

The two-day forum, which was set to continue today, degenerated into chaos with students throwing chairs and water bottles at each other.

Moseneke says he cancelled the convention because the venue was not conducive, but the dialogue will continue.

“We must carry our liberation struggle forward, so was a deeply sad day. But the dialogue continues. I’d like to thank you, particularly those of you who are still determined to go ahead and I’m so deeply sad and so are all our conveners.

“We’re going to continue to search for solutions in a way hopefully that is orderly and that will get us there.”

Student threw water bottles and chairs at each other.

Moseneke said the situation was not conducive for the continuation of the convention.

“We want to thank you for having come out, but we regret that the deterioration of the situation is of such a level that we are unable to continue under these circumstances.”

The retired chief justice said he is disappointed by what has transpired.

“I would have very much wanted to go on, but it must be the convention that gives the answers to the questions you raised so well today. I am personally deeply saddened, so too my co-conveners.”

NZIMANDE AND HABIB JEERED

Wits Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Habib and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande were prevented from speaking at the forum by disruptive students.

Habib was disrupted by students who say they don’t want vice-chancellors to speak at the event.

Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana called students to order and stopped Habib from continuing with his speech.

“In the agenda that has been declared and was negotiated there was no space for vice-chancellors and therefore the students are saying if we are to change we should have negotiated, it’s a fair point. We will then continue without the vice-chancellor speaking and continue the programme as planned.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)