Higher education minister Blade Nzimande said his office will look into allegations of security companies colluding with management and student leadership during university protests.
Nzimande was responding to a question following an engagement with management and student political leadership from the University of Zululand on Monday.
The meeting came after violent student protest action last week forced the university to shut down until further notice.
“This matter has consistently been raised with me, especially since the beginning of this year, that there is collusion, as an allegation, between some security companies, people in management and student leadership to coordinate destruction. Destruction and violence force universities to employ more security,” said Nzimande.
The minister said these allegations had been raised with him often enough to warrant discussions with the law enforcement clusters of government.
“I will be having consultations with the minister of police. This is a matter that will require engagement with all the security clusters of the government,” he said.
University of Zululand students are calling for the axing of their vice-chancellor following an engagement with the minister of higher education Blade Nzimande in Durban.
“I am concerned that in some instances this violence is being instigated largely as a money-making exercise, and in the process, property is being destroyed,” he said.
After the meeting with the minister and while he briefed the media, a handful of students picketed for the dismissal of the university’s vice-chancellor, Xoliswa Mtose, saying she has been the reason why they have not had a student-appointed student representative council (SRC) in four years.
“We have an issue with the VC, who is abusing her power, and the university is not progressing under her leadership. The VC is allergic to democracy. We have not had SRC elections for the past four years. There have been only two legitimate SRCs in her four-year term and four SRC administrators appointed by herself,” said Mxolisi Khanyile, secretary of the Young Communist League at the university.