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UKZN SRC slams exclusion of student leaders at Higher Education Dept meeting

UKZN’s SRC president Sifiso Simelane said the exclusion of student leaders in Monday’s meeting between university management and the department was a demonstration of arrogance by both parties.

FILE: Higher Education Minister Dr Blade Nzimande. Picture: GCIS

DURBAN - Student leaders at the University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN) have lashed out at the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology for excluding them from discussions with the university management.

The university’s Ashton Bodrick told Eyewitness News that in their meeting request to Minister Blade Nzimande they had asked for student leaders to be involved. However, he said the ministry opted to meet with just the university management.

UKZN Student Representative Council (SRC) president Sifiso Simelane said the exclusion of student leaders in Monday’s meeting between university management and the department was a demonstration of arrogance by both parties.

“There is no way you can say you’re meeting with the department without the views of students being heard. So, that meeting is null and void according to us,” he said.

Simelane said this sets a bad tone for Tuesday’s scheduled negotiations between student leaders and university management.

The SRC president said they suspected that the university would misrepresent their demands to Nzimande.

UKZN wanted a portion of students to pay 15% of their historical debt before being cleared for registration. But, student leaders were demanding that all students be cleared regardless of the amounts still owing.