Malema slams Pandor over TUT dispute

African National Congress Youth League President Julius Malema criticised Education Minister Naledi Pandor on Wednesday for not taking action to resolve the Tshwane University of Technology salary dispute.

“She must use her fake accent to address our problems,” Malema told hundreds of students and staff at the institution’s Pretoria campus.

Malema also said it was critical that the university re-opened.

His comments came after management on Tuesday announced that the institution would be closed due to ongoing protests by both students and staff over salary negotiations.

National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) President Noluthando Sibiya said the unions involved in the strike were not informed of this decision.

She said Nehawu had approached the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration in order to force management to engage with the unions for further talks.

Nehawu supporters further reiterated that they would never accept the capping of salaries for staff.

On Wednesday, Malema also urged the protestors to continue their militancy in an orderly fashion.

University spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said in a statement on Tuesday that the decision to close the institution was taken following the intimidation of non-striking staff by some union members at the university over the past few days.

She said the decision was also influenced by violence and vandalism witnessed during the strike.

“The safety of staff, students and university property is our primary concern and management has taken the decision to avoid any threat to the safety of people’s lives or TUT property,” De Ruyter said.

However web registration outside the campus would be ongoing for senior students who were in possession of pin numbers and who did not have any block on their accounts.

“Students who want to enrol for a B Tech degree and who have not yet been approved by their academic department should contact the department upon the re-opening of the university,” De Ruyter said.

The final closing date for registration would be extended but the new date would only be announced when the university re-opened.—Sapa

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