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Monday, August 23, 2010

Powder Keg (Strike On Campus)

Some situations are as dangerous as they can get. That is what I like to call “powder keg”.  This blog  is more about my views and also my experiences on strikes. As you may know about the strike that happened in University of Limpopo-Turfloop campus (from 26th July 2010 to about 6 august 2010). Listen to my side of the story.

This is how it started. On the 23 July 2010 (Friday) there was a mass meeting at the campus. The agenda was hot water, Increased Fees, NSFAS Allocations and Lack of Residential Management and a memorandum was submitted.

The coming Sunday (25th July 2010) another mass meeting was posted to be held on the 30th July 2010 (Friday)and on the same day as the poster, late at about 19H30 the Power at the Campus was out until at about 03H00 on Monday. Monday Morning the posters for mass meeting on the 30th July 2010 were replaced by a mass meeting poster for that day (26th July 2010).In the meeting they were a feed back from the Vice-chancellor/Principal of the University of Limpopo.

It stated thing like the head pumps are working optimally, the increase fees was a mistake, NSFAS Allocations are still on the minister of higher education’s hands and that the residence problems is common to many South African universities. The respond did not satisfy the students, and then they decided to speed up the reaction. I remember the last words were “Comrades, is either today or never!” The march started there.
Later that day the leaders were arrested from the admin building (A-Block) Third floor was the vice-chancellor’s office is. Thing went up after then. The police were all over the place and stones were thrown at them. The housing department was also attacked by stones and all the bins on the campus were burning.

Late at about 22H00 the department of housing office were set ablaze, the reaction was high for the whole night with a common scream “Waaaaaaaaaaaar” .it took about week for everything to cool down. The SRC were suspended until further notice and charges were laid against some students.The following week-end M5 lecture hall war burnt to black. That’s when the police were even stricter to anyone walking in the academic area especially at night.

During the strike more than 200 students were arrested but released within a few days. Some were injured as the police were attacking everyone in the residences; break into their room when they are asleep. I lost my phone in the process, while running for cover and many tests were postponed, increasing the pressure. Turfloop was left leaderless and very soon the election for new SRC will start. It is said by those who were here a bit long that this was nothing compared to the one of 2007.
Everything just went down and the police evacuated the campus but the matter of the strike was not fully resolved. So the question remains, will it start again?

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