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Suspension of TUT SRC President Sparks Controversy Amidst NSFAS Protest Involvement

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Suspension of TUT SRC President Sparks Controversy Amidst NSFAS Protest Involvement

Suspension of TUT SRC President Sparks Controversy Amidst NSFAS Protest Involvement.The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) has taken the decision to suspend Keamogetswe Masike, the President of the Student Representative Council (SRC), due to his involvement in protests against the National Student Financial Aid Scheme‘s (NSFAS) recently introduced direct payment system.

Suspension of TUT SRC President Sparks Controversy Amidst NSFAS Protest Involvement

The university sent an official letter to Masike on August 8, citing allegations of misconduct related to his participation in organized and unauthorized student demonstrations.

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Allegations of Misconduct and Suspension

The letter conveyed to Masike stated that he was accused of engaging in activities that breached university regulations and adversely affected fellow students’ activities and the institution’s operations. As a result of the severity of the allegations and the violation of university rules, the letter announced an immediate suspension from TUT pending investigations and disciplinary procedures.

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During his suspension, Masike was informed that he would not be permitted to enter any university premises or partake in any events without written authorization from the vice-chancellor. The letter warned that non-compliance with these suspension conditions could lead to further disciplinary measures, potentially resulting in expulsion.

Masike’s Response and Legal Challenge

In response to the university’s decision, Masike expressed disappointment, highlighting that he had been advocating for underprivileged students negatively affected by NSFAS’s new direct payment system. He maintained his innocence, asserting that he had no history of wrongdoing within the university.

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Masike acknowledged the impact of his suspension on both himself and fellow students, as it curtailed his access to university facilities. He reassured that he was well-informed about his rights throughout the suspension process. Additionally, he announced his intention to challenge the university’s decision legally in the upcoming weeks.

Protests and Controversies

The controversy stems from protests that erupted at TUT in June, centered on the newly introduced direct payment system by NSFAS and concerns about appointed service providers. The selected third-party online banking service, eZaga, faced criticism for alleged inexperience and delays in disbursing crucial student allowances. Similar issues were raised by students from the University of Pretoria, who engaged in protests and clashes with law enforcement while seeking a meeting with Minister Blade Nzimande at the Department of Higher Education in Tshwane.

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