The Durban University of Technology (DUT) has suspended the SRC president for an alleged misconduct which the university believes was in breach of the institution’s disciplinary code.
On Monday, the student representative council (SRC) president Sesiyanda Godlimpi received a letter from the university management, informing him that he was on precautionary suspension.
According to SRC chairperson Khanyisani Khambule, Godlimpi’s precautionary suspension comes after a confrontation between the SRC and staff members.
“He has been suspended based on allegations of intimidation against staff members, hence he has to do representations to the management to give his side of the story. This has to do with an incident which happened while we were trying to get unregistered students to register.
“We had students who weren’t registered from January until May, and they were being excluded from writing exams. When we asked the university to register those students, who are quantile one, they refused saying it would cause loss on their side should [the National Student Financial Aid Scheme] not reimburse them. SRC responded to that and there was a rigid confrontation,” Khambule said.
The issue of registration and fees at DUT goes back years, and has been the source of many protests, some of which have been violent. Khambule blamed the issues surrounding the registration process solely on the management, saying it has failed to administer its own system.
“We have students who are coming from disadvantaged schools and they fall under different quantiles. This automatically makes them eligible for funding, as per NSFAS’s requirements. It is then the management’s responsibility to ensure that these students are fully funded but we have students who fall under this category who have been attending classes without being registered. Now that it’s exam time, they are being excluded,” he said.
Khambule said they were awaiting the management’s conclusion of the investigation and a response.
“We have met with our lawyers and drafted the presentations they asked for. We are waiting for their decision and if they don’t respond by Monday, we are taking them to court,” he said.
In the letter seen by the Daily Vox, Godlimpi, who remains suspended was told to vacate his residence on Tuesday and further prohibited participation in any academic or non-academic activities pending investigation.
Alan Khan, the senior director of Corporate Affairs at DUT confirmed suspension of Godlimpi, saying he was placed on precautionary suspension, following alleged misconduct.
“This precautionary suspension was due to his recent conduct, which was in breach of the University’s disciplinary code. Therefore, the University was obliged to institute consequence management against him, like it would do against any other student who was accused of violating the disciplinary code,” he said.
Featured image by Lizeka Maduna